Several thousand Arabs marked the 12th anniversary of the October 2000 riots on 1 October by protesting the failure of the state to prosecute anyone for the deaths of the twelve Arabs and one Palestinian killed in clashes with Israeli police forces at the start of the Second Intifada.
The largest demonstration took place in Sakhnin, though marches were held in several cities and villages across the country, including: Nazereth, Kfar Kana, Arabeh, Umm el-Fahem, and Rahat, among others. Wreaths were placed on the graves of the dead, and mass prayers were held in commemoration of the events.
The protesters carried Palestinian flags and black banners of mourning, as well as posters that read: “The blood of the martyrs is dear to us” and “We shall not forgive the killers.”
The protest was attended by Knesset Member Talab El-Sana who said, "The Arab public holds the Israeli government accountable and demands an apology by the prime minister and the prosecution of the murderers.”
Unlike in previous years, however, the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee did not call for a general strike, out of concern that they would not get a sufficient response from the public. The decision angered the family and friends of those killed and hundreds of school children in Sakhnin and Arabeh chose not to attend school in solidarity.
Many Arabs argue that Israeli police would never have fired on a crowd of Jewish protesters and there is widespread disappointment that none of the security forces involved in the shootings, which occurred over several days, were prosecuted.
The Orr Commission report, which was established to investigate the events of October 2000, found a pattern of government “prejudice and neglect” toward Arab citizens of Israel leading up to the violence, and was critical of the police’s use of excessive force to quell the riots.