October 13, 2019

47 Israeli Officers Wounded During Protests Against Police Killing of Ethiopian Man

Policemen and protestors are seen next to a burning car during a protest for the death of 18-year old Solomon Tekah of Ethiopian descent, after he was shot by police, in Tel Aviv, Israel July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Corinna Kern

Around 47 Israeli police officers were injured during July 2 protests stemming from an Israeli police officer killing a 19-year-old Ethiopian man, the Jerusalem Post reports.

An unidentified police officer shot and killed the Ethiopian, Solomon Tekah, during an altercation in Kiryat Haim on June 30. The officer alleged that Tekah and two other male youths were beating up a 13-year-old male and he intervened to stop them; Tekah and the two other males then allegedly threw stones at the officer, prompting the officer to open fire in self-defense. A bullet ricocheted from the cement and struck Tekah, the officer claims. At least one witness, identified as a youth counselor named Eli, disputed the officer’s claim that he was in danger when he fired at Tekah.

Thousands of Israelis are protesting in anger over the shooting, and are shutting down at least 12 junctions. Protesters reportedly chanted, “End the killing, end the racism!” and threw stones at police officers. At least one car was set on ablaze. Around 60 protesters were arrested.

Tekah’s funeral took place earlier on July 2 in Kiryat Haim; the Israeli police are conducting an investigation into Tekah’s shooting. 

“We didn’t come to Israel for our children to be murdered,” Tekah’s father, Varkah, said during the eulogy. “We will not pay the expensive price of our children dying young. Why are we burying a child?”

Ethopian Israelis have alleged that Israeli police single them out for abuse due to racism.