Adalah Urges Strong Mandate for the Official Commission of Inquiry


Today, Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, announced the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry “to investigate the clashes, which involved security forces and Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel.” This Commission of Inquiry replaces the Commission of Examination, established two weeks ago, under the Chairmanship of Retired Judge Shalom Brenner. The High Follow-up Committee on Arab Affairs, comprised of Arab Members of Knesset and Arab mayors and community leaders, vehemently opposed the establishment of the Committee of Examination, and sought a legally sanctioned Commission of Inquiry, in accordance with the Commissions of Inquiry Law (1968). 

In Adalah’s view, it is unfortunate that the Prime Minister insisted, for so long, on establishing a vaguely-defined Committee of Examination, despite its detrimental effect on the Arab community in Israel. 

Adalah urges the Commission of Inquiry to adopt a strong mandate to investigate the circumstances under which 13 Palestinian citizens were shot to death and hundreds more were wounded, and to examine the policy under which the police and security forces acted. 

Adalah also calls upon the President of the Supreme Court of Israel, Aharon Barak, to appoint members to the Commission, whose commitment to human rights is not in question.  The composition of the Commission is important, as otherwise, serious questions will arise as to whether the Commission is being used as a tool to legitimize police brutality against Palestinian citizens of Israel.