Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

B'Tselem Criticizes Zamir Commission Report

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

B'Tselem Criticizes Zamir Commission Report

Article excerpt

B'Tselem, the Jerusalem-based human rights organization, sharply criticized the Israeli government's Zamir Commission report on the Oct. 8 events at Haram Al-Sharif.

After conducting its own investigation into the riots, B'Tselem noted a number of troubling issues and "hoped the Commission of Investigation would...properly clarify the incident." The human rights organization described several key structural problems in the official Israeli report.

The Zamir Commission, which was not authorized to subpoena witnesses, received most of its information from members of the security forces. "Arab civilians...refused to appear before the commission," B'Tselem noted. "Any attempt to reconstruct the truth relying almost entirely on the testimony of one side...is limited, and its results should be considered with a certain degree of skepticism."

In addition, B'Tselem notes, the Zamir Commission does not cite evidence and sources for its conclusions. For example, on the issue of shots fired at an ambulance, the commission concluded that no policeman saw the ambulance. However, the commission also heard testimony from a nurse who said she saw a soldier aim directly at the ambulance. …

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