Gunfire in the Israeli financial capital Tel Aviv injured three people Saturday night in the city’s central bus station. Authorities have apparently identified the culprits as African migrants. At least one person was shot in the chest, and another in the hand, but no fatalities have been reported.
The violence will be sure to add to the anti-African sentiment that already exists in Israel.
A spokesman for Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s emergency service organization, announced that two of the victims remained in critical condition, while a third was lightly injured. After being called to the scene MDA officers evacuated the three victims to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. No further information regarding the shooting has been released, but a police investigation is ongoing.
The incident follows a stabbing committed last month, during which three Eritrean migrants were assaulted in an Internet café in Tel Aviv’s Shapira neighborhood.
The suspect in that case was described as a 38-year-old “mentally disturbed” citizen.
Other recent violence included a shooting in July, when a man opened fire on a group of Eritrean men sleeping in a doorway in south Tel Aviv. Only one man was wounded in that case.
And one of the most attention-grabbing recent cases, last month about two dozen Jewish youth surrounded Arab teen Jamal Julani, 17, and began beating him, kicking him even after he fell to the ground, unconscious. Apparently the group was looking to assault any Arab they encountered after a girl in their gang said she was raped by a group of Arabs.
“I am full of shame and outrage at what we witnessed over the weekend in Jerusalem,” Peres said from the Arab town of Majd ek Karum in the northern Galilee. “Jamal Julani was beaten up for no reason other than because he is an Arab. This is an intolerable incident of violence that we must uproot from our midst. The perpetrators must be brought to justice and every effort must be made to bring Arab and Jewish youth together.”
In a nation sensitive to every perceived and real ethnic slight between Arabs and Jews, Peres knows the beating could have the potential to explode into a far bigger conflict.