At age 17, Asel Asleh was the kid with the 1,000-watt smile, an extroverted, trilingual computer junkie with a gift for gab, a glittering future and, for an Arab, an almost unheard of network of close Jewish friends whose mothers he invariably charmed.
Asel Asleh owned 30 bottle-green T-shirts, all with the same logo the words ”Seeds of Peace” and an olive branch that announced to everyone he met that he fervently believed Arabs and Jews could live together.
A formal inquiry this month into the police killing of 13 people in violent protests by Israeli Arabs in October has raised questions about several of the shootings, particularly whether the police needed to fire live ammunition.
Criticizing police tactics that included the use of sniper fire to disperse crowds, the report concluded that Israel “must educate its police that the Arab public is not the enemy, and should not be treated as such.”
A police officer suspected of killing an Israeli Arab during the October 2000 riots refused to turn up for a polygraph examination five times in a row. The sixth time, when he did show up, he refused to answer more than one question and eventually left without being tested.