Wednesday, October 20, 2004
The Inmates Running the Asylum
Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra authorized on Tuesday a controversial appointment of a Border Policeman that may conflict with the recommendations of the Or Commission, which investigated the October 2000 riots, in which police killed 12 Israeli Arabs and a Palestinian.
The commission recommended that Brigadier General Benzi Sau, who served as Border Police Northern District commander during the riots, not be promoted for four years.
Nonetheless, Sau, who is currently serving as head of the police disengagement administration, has been appointed to the position of staff commander....
The Or Commission Report, published in September 2003, said Sau commanded a long and unnecessary confrontation between police and Israeli Arab citizens at the Umm al-Fahm junction. During the incident, a group of policemen entered the Arab town and killed two people while using live rounds and rubber bullets. The commission, however, did not hold Sau responsible for the incident.
On the second day of the riots, Sau was involved in an incident which involved police snipers illegaly firing at stone throwing demonstrators at the same junction.
Sau's appointment is part of a general round of new appointments in the police force. The position of Border Police staff commander was created recently to replace the position of deputy commander.