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Israeli police avoid charges for killings in 2000 riot

[JURIST] The Israeli Justice Ministry [official website] has decided not to charge police for shootings that killed 13 Israeli Arabs during violent protests in October 2000. In closing all investigations stemming from the incident, the Police Investigations Unit on Monday said there was not enough evidence to charge the officers involved. The officers under investigation killed 13 men when they shot into a crowd of pro-Palestinian demonstrators that had gathered several days after the start of the most recent intifada. Relatives of those killed called the ruling "unjust" and vowed to fight it, while an Israeli Arab politician said he expected that the commission would fail to prosecute the security forces. Members of the Israeli Arab Monitoring Committee are considering whether to support a general strike [Haaretz report] in the northern region of the country to protest the decision. In addition to citing a lack of evidence, the investigating commission also suggested that some of the shootings may have been justified. A 2003 government report recommended reprimanding but not charging the security forces involved. Israeli Arabs are descended from Palestinians who chose to remain in Israel following its 1948 creation, and they make up a 20 percent minority of Israel's population. Haaretz has local coverage of the announcement. BBC News has more.

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