AG Mazuz: No Case Against Police who Shot Arab Rioters in 2000

In the mayhem of October 2000, 13 Arab rioters were killed by police. 7 years later, the AG says there is no reason to try the policemen.

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Gil Ronen,

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz announced Sunday that he would not be reopening the investigations against policemen who were involved in gunfire at Arab rioters in October 2000. "I have decided against intervening in the decision by the Department for Investigation of Police Officers (Mahash) regarding the events of October 2000," Mazuz said.

"True, the result which involved the death of 13 people in these events is a harsh and troublesome one," he explained, in a 500 page decision. "And yet, there is but one criminal code and it has clear and strict rules regarding criminal responsibility and criminal proceedings. There was no choice but to close the file because there was no evidentiary basis for criminal responsibility of any of the people involved in these events."

The riots
In October 2000, then Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat launched a murderous terror war against Israeli civilians, which has claimed 1,500 lives. In sympathy with the campaign of murder by PA terrorists, Arabs with Israeli citizenship started an uprising of their own, blocking vitally important roads, burning cars, shooting, attacking Jewish motorists, and in one case killing a Jewish driver with rocks thrown from a bridge.  

After the riots were quelled, left wing and Arab politicians blamed the police for using excessive force. As a result of this political pressure, an official committee of investigation, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Theodore Orr, was established to investigate why the police used deadly force. The committee cast blame on the police, and several officers were forced to resign.

Kudos for Mazuz
MK Eliyahu Gabbai (NU/NRP) congratulated the attorney general for his decision. Gabbai said that Mazuz deserved praise for "not surrendering to the threats of violence from the Arab Knesset members." Gabbai added, "It is important to remember that the Orr Commission found the Arab Knesset Members respons
After the riots were quelled, left wing and Arab politicians blamed the police for using excessive force.
ible for the incitement which caused the riots and the harsh results. It is too bad that they have learned nothing and are continuing to incite without limits." He was referring to statements from Arab leaders following Mazuz's decision, calling the decision racist and vowing to pursue the matter in international tribunals.

Cops angry
The decision triggered anger among policemen whose careers were cut short by the Orr Commission, which investigated those events. Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Alik Ron said Sunday he was not surprised by the decision. Ron, who was the police's Northern District commander at the time, told Ynet that the real culprits behind the riots were the Arab leaders who incited and stirred up the Arab street, and who have never been brought to justice.

"For a mob to hit the streets, there has to be someone to send them there," Ron explained. The Arab Knesset Members and other leaders never paid the price for what they did, he said.
"The Orr Commission was set up in order to appease the Arabs," said Supt. (ret.) Guy Reif.
 

"The Orr Commission was set up in order to appease the Arabs," Supt. (ret.) Guy Reif told NRG Sunday. "The police are a body that prefers lying over taking responsibility," he said. Reif said he would consider suing the state for the damage caused him by the Orr Commission. Reif had been the commander of the Misgav police station when the October 2000 riots and their aftermath ended his career in uniform.

Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Waldman, who also had to leave the police, said: "I am sorry that people were killed, but one has to see the general picture. People went out and rioted, and in some places there was a serious concern for human life on the Jewish side, in Upper Nazareth, for instance, and policemen were also injured." Waldman said the commission hurt the police and its results can be seen in what happened recently in Druze violence against the Jewish community in the northern town of Peki'in.