Police used excessive force to quell protests by Israeli-Arab citizens when the Palestinian uprising began three years ago, an Israeli commission of inquiry said this week. A report by the three-member commission said the police refused to investigate civilian deaths following the riots, treating the Arabs as “enemies.” The commission was set up to investigate the deaths of 13 people killed when police tried to stop thousands of Israeli Arabs from throwing stones in solidarity with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, who had just begun their intifada. The commission said Israel had a history of government “prejudice and neglect” toward the Arab minority. The report, published in two thick books, concluded that Israeli officials, particularly then–Prime Minister Ehud Barak, were oblivious to the seething anger of Israel’s more than 1 million Arab citizens.
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