Israeli prime minister apologizes to Ethiopian-Israeli soldier whose attack by police was caught on camera
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – A violent night in Tel Aviv as protesters and police go at it.
Officials say 57 police officers and 12 protesters were hurt, and at least 43 people ended up in jail after a rally degenerated into a riot. The protesters, who included Ethiopian Jews, were angry over an incident some people are comparing to alleged police misconduct in the United States.
It happened last month, and it was caught on camera.
Demas Fikadey, a 21-year-old Ethiopian Jew and a member of the Israeli Defense Force, was in uniform, walking with his bicycle, when a police officer seems to try to get him to go the other way. Things quickly got out of hand. Fikadey has lived in Israel for seven years. The military recently honored him for his social work in the community.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized personally to Fikadey, then met with leaders of the Ethiopian community, saying afterward that racism in Israel must be eliminated.
Earlier in the day, Netanyahu released a statement that said “all claims will be looked into, but there is no place for violence and such disturbances.”
A police spokesperson says one of the officers in the video has been fired.