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Clashes as Israelis of Ethiopian descent protest police shooting

A firefighter extinguishes a car fire during a protest for the death of 18-year old Solomon Tekah of Ethiopian descent, after he was shot by police, in Tel Aviv, Israel on July 2, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Thousands of Israelis of Ethiopian descent and their supporters staged sit-down protests at major road junctions throughout Israel on Tuesday after a member of the immigrant community was shot dead by police.

Riot police scuffled with some protesters on Tuesday night in Tel Aviv, where a car was set on fire and several demonstrators were arrested.

Around 20,000 Ethiopian Jews, who trace their roots to the biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, were brought to Israel on secret flights in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. But they have at times complained of racist discrimination.

On Saturday, 18-year-old Solomon Tekah was shot dead in the northern city of Haifa by an off-duty policeman. The policeman said he drew his gun while trying to intervene in a brawl between two groups of youths, who ended up turning against him.

A police spokesman said the officer who carried out the shooting had been arrested pending an investigation.


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