Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

African refugee apartment firebombed in Jerusalem; four injured

Posted by Christopher Coen on June 4, 2012

Once again we see the consequences of the hate rhetoric and incitement emanating from the right-wing coalition leadership in Israel. Knesset Members have attended anti-African rallies in south Tel Aviv since 2010. Last year people began attacking migrants. In late April and early May of this year, several homes and a kindergarten were firebombed. Then two weeks ago a mob rampaged through south Tel Aviv attacking black people at random (including a black Israeli of Ethiopian origin). Now, an apartment in Jerusalem in which ten Eritrean asylum seekers were sleeping was firebombed at 3am last night. Apparently the firebomb was directed at the apartment’s sole entry/exit, indicating the assailants’ intent to kill the occupants. At least four refugees suffered injuries from smoke inhalation and burns while trying to extinguish the blaze. The assailants left behind a graffiti message to get “out of the neighborhood.” An article in the Los Angeles Times explains:

JERUSALEM — The wave of violence against African refugees in Israel hit Jerusalem on Monday morning with the firebombing of an apartment where 10 Eritrean asylum-seekers were living.

At least four refugees suffered injuries from smoke inhalation and burns while trying to put out the blaze, officials said. The assailants were not apprehended and left behind a graffiti message to get “out of the neighborhood,” according to police.

The attack is the latest in string of violence against Africans in Israel…

… critics say recent statements by some officials about deporting or imprisoning refugees have encouraged the backlash. One lawmaker recently called on Israeli soldiers to shoot any refugees attempting to cross the border with Egypt.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai has called the refugees “criminals” and suggested, without providing evidence, that they are responsible for raping many Israeli women… Read more here

In the time leading up to the violence members of the right-wing coalition leadership have called for African migrants to be “sent away”, termed the migrants a “cancer”, exclaimed that ”All human rights activists should be imprisoned and transported to camps…”, and “Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man,” according to a posting at +972blog. A member of the Knesset (parliament) from a non-coalition party, which largely supports the rightist government leadership, went so far as to say, “Anyone that penetrates Israel’s border should be shot, a Swedish tourist, Sudanese from Eritrea, Eritreans from Sudan, Asians from Sinai. Whoever touches Israel’s border – shot.”

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One Response to “African refugee apartment firebombed in Jerusalem; four injured”

  1. cory82 said

    Israel actually needs foreign workers to take the crop picking jobs that Israelis don’t want. It makes no sense not to let the African refugees work.

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