Eritreans Express Shock, Concern After Lynching of Migrant in Be’er Sheva

Eritrean asylum seekers were stunned by reports of Sunday’s lynching of Habtom Zarhum in Be’er Sheva. Videos showing a furious mob kicking and beating the wounded man following a terror attack quickly spread among the

Eritrean asylum seekers were stunned by reports of Sunday’s lynching of Habtom Zarhum in Be’er Sheva. Videos showing a furious mob kicking and beating the wounded man following a terror attack quickly spread among the community.
“The community is in shock,” said Berhana, a 30-year-old Eritrean and one of the Eritreans’ leaders in Jerusalem. “The biggest shock is the civilians’ onslaught, not the security guard shooting him. You can understand police shooting him under pressure. You investigate that. But people attacked him rather than taking him to hospital. Community members feel he was attacked because he is a refugee.”
Berhana said the community is hoping for a very thorough investigation.

“The future really frightens me,” he admitted. “I fear more people will be hurt because of hatred. People are very depressed by what happened. We’re trying to calm people down. I’m afraid they’ll become anti-Israel.”
Meanwhile, Eritrea’s ambassador to Israel asked the Foreign Ministry for all information regarding the lynching. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said that the head of the ministry’s Africa branch, Yoram Elron, told the Eritrean ambassador that a police investigation has been launched and that the ambassador will be briefed on its progress as soon as possible. The ambassador is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday with Foreign Ministry representatives as well as police officials, who will provide him with more information on the incident.
Zarhum had been living in Israel for nearly four years. A friend said he fled Eritrea after being forced into extended military service in the air force. He supported his remaining family in Eritrea from Israel. He had visited Be’er Sheva to extend his temporary residence visa and was on his way back to Moshav Ein Habesor, where he worked in a garden center.

Hundreds of asylum seekers held an impromptu memorial service for Zarhum at the Holot detention center on Monday. Although they did not know him personally, the inmates gathered at the facility and shared their thoughts.
“They told people what happened on Sunday, and said it was not intentional but a mistake,” another Eritrean, Afwerki, 36, told Haaretz. “But after we saw the video, it’s impossible [to think] that what happened was a mistake.”
He said the security guard may not have known at first, given the pressure. “You don’t know what you’re doing, but after that [Habtom] perhaps still could have lived,” he said. “He didn’t get any treatment in time. That’s what happened.”
Zarhum’s cousin and some friends gathered Monday in south Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Park, where they are planning a large memorial ceremony for him on Tuesday evening. The Eritrean embassy announced Monday that Zarhum’s body would be flown back to Eritrea for burial.
MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) called on Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to recognize Zarhum as a victim of terror. “Despite our being well-versed in terror and suffering,” she said, “we had yet to see a horrifying incident such as this one, in which hatred played into the hands of those who seek to harm us and doubled the hurt.”

haaretz.com

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21 COMMENTS
  • Hagherawi October 22, 2015

    “It is not that hard and it is not harder than fighting for our independence.”

    Genet-orginal

    Obviously, it could cost less than fighting for independence. But unfortunately, it’s costing a lot, and may be, if it continues like this, it will cost a lot more.

    Why ??? … well, because:

    – Some people still think this is an EPLF government (wudibna …)
    – Some have this ‘region/religion/ethnic’ mindset, while in reality Higedef are godless.
    – Some are indifferent (who cares type of attitude, as long as they are ok)
    – Some are busing making money at the expense of those who are suffering.
    – Many are struggling to make a living (trying to survive on one meal per day)
    – Many are waiting for the tyrant to die (he will die …, let’s be patient)
    – Some are scared of the unknown, or the ‘other’ (the devil we know is better …)
    – Some are struggling alone, jailed, made to disappear, murdered .. etc.

    In a nutshell, we are suffering, but we have failed to raise up to the challenge to free ourselves from a ‘shifta click’ mostly controlled by some rootless elements who hate Eritrea and its people.

    • k.tewolde October 22, 2015

      Good classification of the Eritrean social strata mindset Hagherawi, I can add some more to it. Bottom line,the cost for the fight for independence could have cost us even less if we did’t point the guns against each other, the country would have been liberated in 1978.But the SLICK had a long term goal, the phenomena that we witness today.This one ,this fight is going to be the toughest, and costliest of them all.He did his homework, and accomplished his filthy task to the tee,he f..ed us so bad that we can’t see right from wrong, distinguish friend from foe, day from night,east from west…..we are delirious. He got us where he want us to be, because we let him.

      • Geshu October 22, 2015

        k.tewolde and hagherawi, we’ve read and seen so many fantastic writers and analysts like yourselves in the past but to no good to the poor Eritrean Nation and people who have endured unbearable suffering and humiliation while the so-called experts and analysts keep sitting behind comfortable screens and homes dictating the terms and conditions. You are all with the same “Znegese ngusna Zbereket tsahayna”.

        Why would a mad man DIA change his behavior if every time he takes an action nothing happens to him? Almost all the ills that have been stoking the Eritrean masses can be traced to one tragic confluence : that of the culture of abuse of ghedli with that of the culture of conformity of the masses. When armies become predators then that would be the end of the poor society and nation as we sadly witnessing it.

        • k.tewolde October 22, 2015

          Brother Geshu, did you type you answer above from an internet cafe in HARNET AVE. Asmara? As for chastising ghedli’s experience in general, I have answered to that in my previous posts already.

  • Gura October 22, 2015

    Hermon Beraki, the comment made by “canada” makes a lot of sense. Like many people I was also surprised by the respond to the victim, ato Habtom of Shambqo, Gash-Setit that is still garnering. The Abeed regime in Eritrea and all the Arab media are talking about him as if they care about Eritreans. Mind you thousands of Eritreans have died and are still in Arab jails and dying but not a single word from Eritrea, the Arabs or their Akhdams.
    The death of an Eritrean in the hand of the Eritrean regime or in the hand of the Arabs is ignored, as if the dead person is a chicken or a goat which is how they see an Eritrean or a black African, places like the Muslims of Darfur and the blacks in Libya and Yemen comes to mind.
    ato Habtom received respect in his unfortunate death in Israel from Eritrea and the Arab media because he died in Israel.

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