If you have been paying attention to the news out of Israel and Palestine lately, you have no doubt heard about the rampant knife attacks coming from both sides of the conflict.
While the vast majority of Palestinian attacks have been focused on police state checkpoints in the illegally-occupied West Bank, there have no doubt been plenty of attacks within Israelis borders and on the civilian population.
On the other side of the equation, Israeli Jews have attacked Palestinian Muslims and even other Jews from Arabian backgrounds – like millions of Israeli Jews – who did not look white enough.
All of that is the backdrop to a gunman opened fire at the central bus station in the Biblical city of Beer Sheva, on Sunday evening. The attack killed an Israeli soldier and is said to have wounded up to 11 other people, according to Rania Khalek, writing for Electronic Intifada.
According reports from the Israeli news source Ynet, most of those wounded were “members of Israel’s security forces,” making it seem that this attack was targeting the IDF and police.
Both Reuters and Ynet, identified the assailant as a Palestinian from the city of East Jerusalem city of Shuafat, named Isam al-Araj.
While police shot and killed the attacker, a member of local security – apparently a police officer himself – shot and killed 29-year-old Haftom Zarhum because he was essentially the wrong color.
Zarhum was an Eritrean refugee who Israeli media are spinning as having been “misidentified” as a “terrorist,” according to Haaretz. He was simply in Beer Sheva to obtain his visa. For his troubles, he was murdered by the State that he sought refuge within.
Khalek reports that “video captured by bystanders and posted to social media shows a mob of onlookers, including Israeli soldiers and police, kicking Zarhum in the head, pinning him under a chair and throwing a bench at him as he writhes on the floor, clearly in pain and bleeding severely.”
The crowd can be heard chanting “mehabel” (terrorist), “kill him!” and ”break his head! Break his head! Son of a prostitute!”
Ynet explains that medics tried to help Zarhum, but they “ran into objection from the crowds at the scene, who blocked their way and called out “Death to Arabs,” “Arabs out!” and “Am Israel Chai” (“The people of Israel live”).”
The video of the shooting shows Zarhum “crawling on all fours, clearly posing no threat to anyone,” according to Khalek, and “likely trying to escape to safety.”
That’s when the security forces approached him, shot and killed him.
Khalek reports that in addition to all of this, “the Israeli government has placed a gag order on all aspects of the police investigation into the bus station attack until 18 November.”
This prohibits any media from sharing “any detail about the investigation,” as well as “any detail that could identify the suspects,” and finally “the fact of the existence of the investigation.”
Khalek uncovered another confirmation from Israel’s Walla! News that a “sweeping gag order” is in fact in effect.