Country-wide riots over fatal shooting of Ethiopian Israeli who attacked a cop
Thousands of violent rioters from the Ethiopian-Israeli community took to major roads and highways on Tuesday, following the funeral of 19-year-old Solomon Tekah, an Ethiopian Israeli man who was shot dead after attacking an off-duty policeman in a Haifa suburb on Sunday.
Many major roads and highways were blocked and more than 60,000 drivers were stuck as rioters took to the streets across the country.
At least 83 people were injured during the riots Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. 47 police officers, 9 passersby, and one firefighter required medical attention. Of the 83 people injured, 5 were evacuated to hospitals in moderate condition.
Police said Solomon was shot as a police officer tried to separate two youths who were fighting.
The policeman, who was at a playground with his wife and children, said that he opened fire due to concerns for his and his family’s safety.
According to Walla, in a call to the 100 emergency police line made by the officer four minutes before he shot Tekah, he reported that stones were being thrown at him and that he was being attacked, and he requested urgent police assistance.
The policeman himself was injured during the incident and was treated and released Monday night from the Carmel Medical Center in Haifa.
The officer, an Israeli Arab, was arrested after the incident and has been released to house arrest in a secret place due to threats to his life by members of the Ethiopian community.
The Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers said he was questioned again on Tuesday, that statements had been taken from others who were in the area, that there had been reconstructions of the incident, and that additional evidence had been found.
According to a translation of Solomon’s father remarks to Galgalatz, in the past, he was arrested several times for school violence.
According to the pathologist’s report on the shooting, the shape of the bullet after impact – which shows the angle at which it hit – may support the policeman’s version that the shots were first aimed at the ground, and ricocheted towards Teka’s chest.
The authority to make a decision on the matter changed hands from the forensic medical specialist to a more in-depth examination of the bullet at the police’s ballistic laboratory.
Major roads in several cities, including Tel Aviv and Haifa, were blocked by rioters burning tires. In the northern city of Kiryat Ata, riot police units have arrested 16 people. Some 200 rioters gathered in Afula. In Petah Tikva, a protest march is expected to take place Tuesday evening. In Netanya, a march is expected to block the central Highway 2.
Yesterday, three police officers were injured when rioters blocked roads, burned tires and attacked security forces and civilians in the streets of Haifa, Kiryat Ata, Ashdod, Beer Sheva, Netivot and Sderot.
In addition, rioters threw rocks and objects at a police station in Kiryat Haim. Police responded with stun grenades.