News Victims of Racial Discrimination in Israel

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Publish Date : 11/29/2015 10:17
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On Saturday 17 October following the shooting of an IDF soldier at a bus station in the city of Beer Sheva in Israel, 29 year old Abtom Zarhom an Eritrean asylum seeker was mistaken for an attacker and was shot.

He was apparently the only coloured individual in the place. He was then set upon by a crowd and beaten and kicked, without even having a chance for his innocence to be proven in a court, later dying of his injuries in hospital. Several hours later the police named another man as the suspect in the incident.
It seems that Abton Zarbom has become a victim to skin colour and looks in a country that claims its legitimacy is based on the existence of discrimination against Jews in other countries. In condemning this incident, the Eritrean Information Minister issued a statement sees this action as a sign of hidden and unreported oppression against Eritreans in Israel. He stresses that this Eritrean who was killed "by mistake" today, is one of the victims of the international human trafficking organized crime; and example of Eritreans who disappear and urn up in Israel as cheap laborers.
As well as racial discrimination against non-Jews and Arabs on which Israel has been created, over the recent years discrimination against African migrants has increased. This discrimination even includes against African Jews, and most African asylum seekers are not treated like other asylum seekers in Israel. Amnesty International 2015 human rights report points out that by passing new legislative amendments, the Knesset issued the permit for the detention of asylum seekers indefinitely, and following this legislation approximately 20,000 asylum seekers have been put on indefinite detention in the Negev desert without the right of access to basic services. The Israeli Justice Minister also, following the decision of the Israeli Supreme in 2013 to restrict the indefinite detention of asylum seekers, tried to limit the authority of the Supreme Court for legislating laws in protection of minorities rights.
Over 90 percent of African asylum seekers in Israel are Eritreans and Sudanese, who in practice do not have the same rights of access as other asylum seekers who are recognised as refugees. Meanwhile many asylum seekers are put under pressure by the Israeli government for voluntary repatriation to their countries, take back their asylum request and or asylum request from a third country (mainly Uganda and Rwanda). It has been reported that in the first ten months of the current year (2015) that over 5000 Eritreans and Sudanese have voluntarily returned to their countries, even if they have not been persecuted for the reasons that they left their countries originally, they are investigated on charges of spying for Israel. They generally have two choices, one is to leave Israel or stay and accept indefinite detention. This blatant discrimination has reached an extent tat even the Israeli Culture Minister Calls Sudanese asylum seekers "cancer in the Israeli society". It seems that next to the Palestinians in Israel, the second population under pressure, violence and discrimination are African asylum seekers.

Roja Lotfinejad
M.S. in Human Rights

1- http://www.shabait.com/editorial/press-release/20641--press-statement
2- https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol10/0001/2015/en/
3- http://africasacountry.com/2015/07/prominent-sudanese-asylum-seeker-asks-israel-president-why-not-let-us-stay-and-contribute-to-israeli-society/
4- http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/10/eritrean-killed-israel-attack-beersheba-151019144228412.html
5- http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/10/19/israeli-guard-kills-eritrean-man-brutally-attacked-by-mob-over-mistaken-identity.html
6- http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/19/middleeast/israel-violence/
7- https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/israeli-mob-attacks-dying-eritrean-refugee-after-soldier-killed
8- https://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-anti-african-dragnet-tightens/14157
9- http://www.palestinechronicle.com/israels-other-silent-war-state-sponsored-discrimination-against-african-migrants/?print=pdf

“ News Victims of Racial Discrimination in Israel ”