An Eritrean national shot by an Israeli security guard after he was surrounded by a frenzied mob of Israelis in a Beersheva bus station in southern Israel Sunday night died today of wounds sustained during the assault. A video circulating on social media shows the man, Haftom Zarhum, 29, lying on the floor in a pool of blood after the shooting. While security officials attempted to stave off the crowd, one Israeli threw a bench at Zarhum, others kicked him.
Zarhum was attacked when traveling to his home in a community near the border of Gaza, moments after a Bedouin man stabbed an Israeli police officer inside the same bus station. The Bedouin man, identified by local media as Mohanned al-Akrabi, 21, from the town of Hura, then grabbed the injured officer’s weapon and fired several rounds as he attempted to exit the bus station, killing one and injuring 11.
Israeli police shot and killed al-Akrabi.
“We are really sad and we cannot condemn anyone at this stage until we see the result of the investigation,” said Mutasim Ali, an asylum seeker from Sudan and the executive director of the Tel Aviv-based African Refugee Development Center. “The one thing that we ask the government in particular is, the police and the security authorities, is to have more training to identify the suspects to not have anything like this happen again.”
Zahrum was living in Israel where he was seeking asylum. Monday morning, hundreds of African asylum seekers held a memorial in his honor at Holot prison, a desert detention facility where Israel holds nearly 600 Africans seeking refugee status in Israel.