On Sunday in Haifa, an off-duty police officer confronted and shot at 19-year-old Ethiopian Solomon Tekah, killing him.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets to express their anger. Demonstrators shut down 12 major junctions across the country, including in the large city of Tel Aviv. “End the killing, end the racism,” some chanted. Demonstrators have turned-over cars, destroyed police cars and constructed barricades of burning tires. Four police officers were injuried.
About 19 people have been arrested in connection with the rioting so far.
“We respect the laws and customs. Why are we not respected? We have to live together. Enough! Let us be at peace. I want to be the last parent to bury their child,” said Tekah’s father, Workah Tekah, during a eulogy for his son on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s eruption is the latest one between Israeli authorities and an Ethiopian community there that has been persecuted for years. Tekah’s death has only underscored that sentiment.
The Ethiopians are not alone: Many African migrants and refugees living in Israel are consistently persecuted, surely leading to a mounting sense of anger against the state.