In anticipation of the publication of the Or Commission's findings into clashes between Arab citizens and the police - resulting in the deaths of 13 Israeli Arabs in October 2000 - the local Arab press is expressing opinions ranging from hope for a historic watershed in relations with the state to doubts about the wisdom behind the demand for an official probe.

Under the photos of the 13 dead, the independent weekly Al Sinara reports of the high-strung anticipation of the publication of the findings. The editor, Lutfi Mashour, writes with a dose of reservation as to the commission's handling of "an acute problem," the relationship between the state and the Arab citizens.

Mashour expects that, in the end, those responsible will not be punished. "Does the welfare of the state," Mashour asks, "also include the well being, even the existence, of the Arab citizen?"

Mashour bases his criticism on the work of the commission to date and rejects the attempts to equate the state and police officials with three prominent Arab politicians, including MK Azmi Bishara, who were warned for their alleged incitement. Still, Mashour calls on the Arab population to read the conclusions of the commission carefully and evaluate their role in the October events, freeing themselves from the "victim's psychology."

Salim Joubran, editor of Al Ahli, a weekly published on Monday, believes the Arab public will not reject the commission's report, even if it also lays some blame on the three Arab MKs. On the contrary, "the [commission's] conclusions will give us an opportunity to get rid of slogans. There is the start of a rejection of the style of demagogues" that characterized the styles of Arab politicians during the commission's hearings.

"The overwhelming majority of the Arab public is fed up with the empty and false words of some of its politicians who speak as if they do not recognize Israel," Joubran says. He expects the commission's findings to serve as "a democratic earthquake in Israeli society," and "strike a blow at the policies of discrimination, offering a new civil formula for Jews and Arabs."

"The discourse on the [commission's] report will be academic," says Dr. Mahmoud Yazbek, uncle of one of the victims of the violence, Wisam Yazbek.

"We already know from the deliberations of the commission that it does not deal with the central issue for which it was set up. We pressed and asked the commission to bring those responsible on charges of murder," Yazbek says.

Abd al-Muna'm Abu Saleh, from Sahnin, father of Walid Abu Saleh, another of the 13 dead, was quoted in Al Sinara as warning that "our response will be harsh if the criminals who killed our sons are not punished."

The spokesman for the Victims' Families Committee, Hassan Asla, father of Asil Asla from Arabeh, was even more blatant.

A few months ago he told Haaretz: "What will satisfy us is for those who killed our children to receive the death penalty."

For its part, the Supreme Monitoring Committee, representing all the political movements of the Arab citizens in Israel, is keen on formulating a joint response to the commission's findings tomorrow.

As might be expected, the gravest reservations for the commission's findings are being expressed by the journal of the Islamic Movement in the north, Sawat al-Haq u al-Huriya, calling on its readers to prepare for a protest march to Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque and the Supreme Court.

The journal, whose leader Sheikh Raed Salah is under arrest for alleged anti-state activities, and which is likely to be criticized in the commission's report, has opted to take the offensive.

Accusing the three-member panel of prejudicial attitudes toward Arabs, the pundit Abd al-Hakim Mufid writes that the security services unduly influenced the commission's attitude.

Mufid also blames the Arab leadership for not demanding the establishment of an international commission of inquiry into the clashes.