111 Israeli police officers wounded, 136 arrested in extremely violent Ethiopian riots
Israel Police said that since Tuesday at least 111 police officers were wounded and 136 people had been arrested during a wave of violent riots across the country following the funeral of 19-year-old Solomon Tekah, an Ethiopian Israeli man who was shot dead after attacking an off-duty policeman on Sunday.
The extremely violent riots included the torching of police cars, rock throwing, firebombs, and burning tires. Major Israeli roads and highways were completely shut down and more than 60,000 drivers were stuck for hours as rioters took to the streets across the country.
Police used riot dispersal methods in some cases to remove the rioters, but also kept a low profile ‘to prevent clashes’.
Minister of Police Gilad Erdan vowed early Wednesday to prevent “anarchy” and warned violence will not be tolerated today.
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.
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.