Photo: Itay Blumenthal
Israelis take refuge while protesters and police clash at rally held by Ethiopian Israelis.
Photo: Itay Blumenthal

Seeking shelter from the protest: 'I never saw my city like this'

Tali, who was on her way back from a screening in Tel Aviv, ran into 4-months pregnant Elza, an Ethiopian Israeli, during the protest on Sunday and helped her seek shelter while the situation escalated outside.

At the height of clashes between Ethiopian Israeli protesters and police on Sunday night, while stun grenades exploded, stones were thrown and windows shattered, about 20 people found refuge on the first floor of an apartment building in Tel Aviv.



Tali, who was passing by the area at the time, led Elza, an Ethiopian Israeli woman, into the building to keep safe. "I'm Israeli and today I feel like a second-class citizen. It's really sad," said Elza.


Israelis take refuge in apartment building near center of protest. (Photo: Itay Blumenthal)
Israelis take refuge in apartment building near center of protest. (Photo: Itay Blumenthal)


Several people who had taken cover inside the apartment building, near Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, said that they had felt scared and that the protests had spiraled out of control.


"I had come back from a screening and I passed by and saw someone injured, and then met Elza – she told me their side of the story," said Tali. "In my view, there is no their side or our side. It is all of us – we are all together.


"What is happening outside here – I never saw the country and my city like this. I met Elza, who is four months pregnant, and she needed to use the bathroom so I went into a café with her. It's a good thing we went inside because at that moment because the truck began spraying (water) and it shook all the windows. I tried to accompany her to a cab so that she could get home, but then the explosions began and that is how we ended up here," said Tali.


"We wanted to send the message that we are equal citizens," said Elza. "I have been in Israel since 1983. I served in the Military Police and now they are shooting at me.


"I never thought I would reach the point where I have to fight against my brothers – and I call everyone my brother, even the police and all Israelis. I am also Israeli, but recently I have felt more remote, and I don’t want that to happen – the racism that exists in other countries. I left in the middle of work to protest and explain that this situation in painful for all sides. It has gotten out of control."


Another man who lives nearby also found shelter in the same building when he understood he was in danger of getting hurt.


"They are throwing stun grenades and shooting water indiscriminately," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 05.04.15, 10:04
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