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Hebrew University
Noa Epstein, MA student: such a decision to close October 2000 riots case has no place in a civilized, democratic state

16:50 , 02.05.08
    Israeli Jews: Decision to close October 2000 riots case dangerous

Demonstrators say Attorney General Mazuz's decision not to indict police officers involved in death of 13 Israeli Arabs 'has no place in a
civilized, democratic state'
Sharon Roffe-Ofir

Israeli Jewish youngsters have joined the protest against Attorney General Menachem Mazuz's recent decision not to indict the police officers involved in the October 2000 riots, which left 13 Israeli Arabs dead.


During a rally held outside the Justice Ministry building in Jerusalem on Tuesday, the demonstrators said the decision posed a danger not only to the Arabs, but to Jewish Israelis as well.


"We, the Zionist Israelis who feel the Arab minority's pain, believe such a decision has no place in a civilized, democratic state," said Noa Epstein, who met one of the victims, Asil Asala, during a "Seeds of Peace" summer camp in 1997.


"As friends of Asil and as citizens of this country, we hoped the
investigation would point to the guilty parties," she said. "It's
inconceivable that no one was found to be at fault for what happened. This decision endangers Israel's democracy."


Epstein continued to say "I know for a fact that Asil was murdered. (During the riots) he was sitting at the Lotam Junction (near Sakhnin), wearing a shirt reading 'Seeds of Peace'. He wasn't demonstrating - he was just an observer. Asil believed in co-existence."


Earlier, the protestors relayed a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Attorney General Mazuz saying "Mr. Mazuz, if it were Jews who had been murdered, you never would have dared to close the case and go against the inquiry commission's findings.


"There cannot be a situation whereby 13 citizens are dead as a result of live fire by police officers and no one is held accountable," read the letter, which was signed by 37 members of the group.




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