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Palestinians commemorate killing of 13 protesters in Israel

Oct. 1, 2012 6:52 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 3, 2012 10:52 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Palestinians in Israel on Monday commemorated the killing of 13 civilians by Israeli forces in 2000, calling for justice for the victims, Israeli media reported.

Services were held in Umm el-Fahm, Nazareth, Kfar Kana and other Palestinian villages in the Galilee.

"Twelve years have passed and as far as we are concerned it is as if the incident happened yesterday," a spokesman for the families of the victims Ibrahim Siam said, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

"This is a wound that will not heal quickly, especially as the bottom line is that 13 young men were killed by Israeli police fire and no one has been found guilty," Said added.

Demonstrators chanted slogans and demanded that those responsible for the killings be indicted.

The Orr Commission, established following the deaths, found Israeli police incompetence and a history of discrimination against Palestinians in Israel.

Rights group Adalah represented the families of the victims before an official commission of inquiry, but in 2008 the attorney general issued a decision not to indict any of the Israeli police officers responsible for the deaths.

The killings took place in October 2000 during a series of Palestinian protests in northern Israel at the onset of the second intifada.

Around twenty percent, or 1.3 million people, of Israel's population are Palestinian.

They are largely the descendants of Palestinians that managed to remain during the 1948 war, when an estimated 700,000 were expelled from or fled their homes during fighting that would see the establishment of the state of Israel.

Rights groups say that Palestinians living in Israel face discrimination in employment, education and public funding within Israel.

The Israeli government estimates that just over 50 percent of Palestinian families in Israel live under the poverty line.
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