Media sources in Israel are reporting that the Israeli authorities have agreed to an out-of-court settlement with the families of the 13 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in September 2000 during riots that marked the beginning of the second intifada (‘uprising’ in Arabic).The decision follows a 2008 Israeli Attorney General’s ruling that said none of the police involved in the attack on the protest in Jerusalem in 2000 would be prosecuted, despite a 2003 Judicial Inquiry which found that both the Israeli police and the Israeli government acted outside of the law in their attacks on that protest.
With the newly-announced settlement, each of the 13 families will receive 1,100,000 Shekels (around $200,000 USD) in exchange for agreeing not to pursue any future legal claims against the Israeli government or police.
The 13 Palestinians, 12 residents of Jerusalem and 1 from the Gaza Strip, were killed by Israeli police who shot into crowds of protesting civilians in 2000. The protests began when then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made a provocative visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (the third-holiest site in Islam), surrounded by hundreds of soldiers.
His visit followed public statements by the Prime Minister that the Al-Aqsa Mosque should be replaced by a Jewish Temple. This visit, and the protests it provoked, marked the beginning of the second Intifada in which Palestinians throughout the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and inside Israel engaged in years of protest and open resistance to the Israeli occupation of their land which began in 1948, and expanded in 1967.