Israel to compensate family of Eritrean victim

Eritrean asylum seeker family of Habtom Zerhum who was shot to death and beaten will take compensation from the government

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Oct 30, 2015

Israeli Prosecutor Yehuda Weinstein demanded Israel on Thursday to award compensation to the family of an Eritrean who was killed by police gunfire and then beaten by a crowd after being mistaken as someone who killed an Israeli soldier.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said that although Zarhum was an undocumented refugee, his family was designated to receive compensation after Weinstein ruled Zerhum was categorized as "a victim of terrorist acts."

Prosecutor did not release information regarding the sum of money to be aid to the victims family.

Haftom Zarhum, was "accidentally" killed by security forces who was mistaken as the accomplice of an attacker that killed an Israeli soldier during an attack at a bus station in Israel on October 18.

Zarhum was a bystander when an Israeli soldier was killed and 10 others - including four policeman - were injured by a gunman, who opened fire at a bus station in the southern city of Beersheba.

After Zarhum was shot by a security guard, and was bleeding on the ground, a mob and civilians lynched him. The young Eritrean later died in the hospital from the trauma he had suffered. Meanwhile, the gunman was shot and killed by security forces on the scene.

The lynch mob attack on Zarhum is the latest incident in Israel that encouraged Israeli citizens to take the law into their own hands.

Rights groups condemned the deadly attack on October 19 and called for Israeli authorities to bring those who killed Zarhum to justice.

"The death of an asylum seeker at the hands of security guards and an angry mob is a tragic, but foreseeable outgrowth of a climate in which some Israeli politicians encourage citizens to take the law into their own hands," said Sari Bashi, Israel-Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch.

"The Israeli authorities should investigate and prosecute those responsible for the attack. Israel faces acute threats to public safety, but vigilantism will only lead to more innocent people being harmed or killed."

TRTWorld and agencies