Alhira at hospital. 'We're all human beings'
Photo: Yaron Brener
Scene of attack
Photo: Ofer Amram

'I said I was from Sudan and was attacked'

Ali Alhira, who was stabbed in back and stomach by eight men with skullcaps, recounts moments of horror from his hospital bed. 'They assaulted me and my brother without any reason, and no one did anything.' I'm sorry I ever came to Israel, he adds

The deep rift between African refugees and residents of the Pardes Katz neighborhood is well apparent on Ali Alhira's face. The 23 year-old Sudanese asylum seeker, who was stabbed Saturday evening on a Bnei Brak street, is still hospitalized at the surgical ward of the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.


Alhira reveals a deep cut in the center of his stomach, but the greater pain can be seen on his face. On Saturday evening, as he was sitting at the entrance to a small public while arriving to visit his brother who lives in the northern neighborhood of the ultra-Orthodox city, the two were brutally attacked by a group of local young men, who they say were wearing skullcaps.


The Dan District Police view the incident as extremely severe and are working on the intelligence level to locate the assailants, who fled the scene. The investigators suspect that the two were attacked due to their descent.


Refugee in hospital. 'I can't live here anymore' (Photo: Yaron Brener)


Alhira's brother was lightly injured after being beaten with a club and has been released from the hospital. Ali, however, was stabbed several times in the back and stomach and was rushed to the hospital in moderate condition.


"I arrived from (the central Arab city of) Tayibe, where I live, to visit my brother, and we were sitting on the street and talking," he recounts in a conversation with Ynet. "Suddenly a group of eight young men walked by and asked us where we were from. I told them we were from Sudan.


"In response, they attacked us for no reason, and we couldn't understand why. At the time of the assault no one intervened or tried to help. I thought they were going to kill us. After the assailants escaped, I was left bleeding on the pavement and two residents who passed by called an ambulance."


'I plan to return to Sudan'

Alhira, who infiltrated Israel through Egypt a year ago, works as a cleaner. Two of his friends sit at the entrance to the ward and try to translate what he says to the medical staff, with the help of an Arab nurse.


During the interview he asked to convey a message to his attackers: "If I ever see them again, I'll tell them that we're all human beings and that there is no difference between a Sudanese and a Jew. I was very surprised by their behavior, which conceals a lot of hatred and racism.


"Whoever says the Sudanese are a danger to Israel is lying," adds the man who was stabbed in Pardes Katz, a neighborhood whose rabbi has called on residents not to rent out their apartments to Africans, warning of a "spiritual disaster".


"We are living here with these people who attacked us, so I never thought it would happen," Alhira says. "In any event, it made me regret coming to Israel. After undergoing such abuse, I plan to return to Sudan as soon as I get out of the hospital because I just can't live here anymore."


Hassan Shaalan contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 02.14.11, 07:34
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