Ethiopian mothers protest in Tel Aviv over police violence, discrimination
Hundreds join dozens of women from Ethiopian community to march through the city as protests resume following killing of teen in Haifa by off-duty cop; authorities call on demonstrators 'to maintain law and order'; female protester: If my child is in danger, I will not be silent
The protests came as the family of Solomon Tekah ended the seven-day Jewish period of mourning for the 19-year-old youth who was shot dead by an off-duty cop in the Haifa district last week.
Solomon's death prompted several days of mass protests and riots across the country, with some demonstrations turning violent. The Tekah family called for peaceful protests.
The women at Monday's protest carried signs reading: "Mom, don’t let me be the next victim" and "State of Israel – being black is not a crime." From the junction they began marching to Rabin Square in the north of the city. The march was planned to take place from Azrieli along Kaplan Street to Ibn Gvirol Street, and then north to Rabin Square.
"These are the children of all the people of Israel," said Janet, one of the demonstrators.
"The desert generation is quiet," she said, referring to those who walked from Ethiopia to Sudan in order to reach Israel, "but the generation of the Land of Israel, the child of Israel, will not be silent because he learned from you. You educated them and you damaged their souls."
She added: "Don't say that the demonstration by the Ethiopian Jews was violent… If my child cannot go out and come back again – no mother would be silent. I am ready to bleed - in Sudan we bled. I ready to bleed and I am ready to die."
The police said earlier Monday that they "were preparing for protests and were calling on demonstrators to maintain law and order."
The authorities said they would "allow legitimate protest, but will not allow and will take firm action against any riots or violent disturbances directed against policemen or civilians wherever they may be."
Security cameras were installed at noon on Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv, close to the intersection between a major government compound and the Azrieli Junction that leads to the Ayalon Highway.
According to information about the new protests distributed via WhatsApp, the demonstrations were also to be held at the Poleg interchange on Route 2 (the coastal road) near Netanya; the Pat Junction in southern Jerusalem; Petah Tikva municipality building; the corner of Jabotinsky Street and the Geha Junction in Petah Tikva; and opposite Ashkelon municipal sports hall.
Earlier Monday, a preliminary internal investigation into Tekah's killing revealed that the police officer who shot him opened fire in the direction of the floor, but the bullet ricocheted and fatally wounded the 19-year-old man.
The Tekah family's legal team met Monday with the representatives of the Police Internal Investigations Department, who presented them with the findings of the preliminary investigation.
The police representatives did not, however, elaborate on the type of punishment they will be seeking for the officer.
The internal investigation’s department confirmed the meeting, saying the gunfire was indeed aimed at the floor as an act of self-defense.
"The findings of the investigation support the defense's claims that the officer acted in self-defense without any intention of harming the deceased," said Yair Nedshi, the officer’s defense attorney.
"So far a series of forensic tests have been conducted as far of the investigation, including pathological analysis, ballistics tests, weapons testing and forensic examination of the scene of the shooting,” said the Police Internal Investigations Department.