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Requests to Bring Israel’s Ex-Public Security Minister to Justice

Requests to Bring Israel’s Ex-Public Security Minister to Justice

Monday, 2 May, 2022 - 09:30
Israeli police make arrests in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod when deadly intercommunal violence erupted during May 2021’s Gaza conflict. (AFP)

The Arab Joint List appealed on Sunday against closing a probe into the killing of Mussa Hassuna in the central Israeli city of Lod in May 2021.

It requested the Israeli government’s legal advisor to reopen the case file and bring former Public Security Minister Amir Ohana into justice.

This comes in the wake of new disclosed information that Ohana interfered in the investigation process in favor of the criminals and with the aim of acquitting them.

Closing the case represents a flagrant discrimination between Arabs and Jews and gives the green light for criminals to commit other crimes, Party Head Ayman Odeh wrote in his letter.

Hassuna, a 32-year-old Arab-Israeli father, was shot dead on May 10 in Lod, as violent Jewish-Arab clashes shook the city in the early days of the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Five Jewish suspects were arrested on suspicion of being involved in Hassuna’s death but were released on bail shortly afterward.

The men claimed that they were acting in self-defense after an Arab mob descended upon them.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said it filed an appeal on behalf of Hassuna’s family against closing the case.

Adalah Attorney Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi argued in the appeal that the “investigatory material indicates that the Israeli police conducted a negligent, flawed investigation with the ultimate aim of clearing the suspects of any charge.”

Video footage and other materials found in the investigation also suggests that prominent political leaders unlawfully pressured the police throughout the process, altering the course of investigation.

Adalah argued that the self-defense claims relied on by the State Attorney to justify the closure of the cases must be assessed by judicial rather than law enforcement authorities.

Its appeal demanded that the State Attorney reinvestigate all five suspects and conduct a thorough, adequate inquiry.

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