Two groups representing Palestinian citizens of Israel have announced their plans to sue the Israeli government for violently attacking Palestinian protesters ten days ago, during a rally to commemorate the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe, in which the state of Israel was created on their land 60 years ago.The two organizations, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Arab Human Rights Association (AHRA), stated Monday that they will file separate lawsuits against individual officers and the Northern District Police Bureau.
The groups claim that the police attempted to instigate a riot during the demonstration by attacking the 15,000 demonstrators, who were gathered at Tzippori junction, in northern Israel. A statement from the Adalah Legal Center states, “We have evidence that shows that the violent attack was unjustified and unlawful, as were the actions taken against those who were arrested. The police are blatantly breaking the law ”.
According to Northern District police, the ‘riot’ began when there were confrontations between a small group of right-wing Israeli demonstrators and the main mass of Palestinians. But the two organizations say that it was the police themselves that started the violence.
"Israel Police have forgotten what criminal recourse is, by breaking virtually every section of the statute," said attorney Orna Cohen of Adalah.
While the police claim that stones were thrown by the demonstrators, witnesses deny that there were stones thrown. The two groups filing the lawsuit also deny the Israeli police claim that five officers were injured. "The pictures show that the street was free of stones. We have been able to use the photos we have, to prove that the police are lying. We promise Israel Police that from now on, during every procession, every participant will be a journalist armed with a camera," said a statement from Adalah.
The groups presented photographs of police violently beating demonstrators, and claimed that over one hundred participants sustained injuries.