There has been widespread condemnation of the ‘xenophobic’ killing of Eritrean migrant, Haftom Zarhum, shot by a security guard and kicked by an angry Israeli crowd that mistook him for a gunman.
Haftom Zarhum was mistaken as an accomplice of a gunman at an attack on a bus station which occurred in the city of Beersheba. The attack in “Beersheba saw a Palestinian man armed with a rifle and a knife kill an Israeli soldier and wound about 10 other people,” Al Jazeera reported.
The Palestinian gunman was killed and a security guard shot Zarhum, who was a bystander, thinking he was an accomplice of the gunman.
An amateur video which captured the incident shows Zarhum lying wounded on the floor with the police battling to keep an angry crowd away from him. After being shot and kicked in the head, the Eritrean man died in hospital.
The incident has been widely criticised, with human rights groups calling for justice for those responsible for the lynching.
“The death of an asylum seeker at the hands of security guards and an angry mob is a tragic but foreseeable outgrowth of a climate in which some Israeli politicians encourage citizens to take the law into their own hands,” Sari Bashi, Israel-Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch said according to Al Jazeera.
Amnesty International Israel said it was appalled at the racial killing. “Zarhum was shot by an Israeli security officer, targeted simply because of the colour of his skin. He was a victim of racism and xenophobia who just happened to be at the scene of a terrorist attack,” Amnesty International Israel reportedly said.
According to Al Jazeera, African asylum seekers in Israel have been victims of “political incitement and discriminatory legislation”.
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