For the second time in less than two weeks, the African community of south Tel
Aviv was targeted by a firebomb attack, this time in the Hatikva
Police on Sunday said assailants threw Molotov cocktails at
a building inhabited by African migrants on Hanoch Street next to the Hatikva
market around 1 a.m. Though the bottles exploded, there were no damages or
At the three-story building on Sunday afternoon, a Nigerian man
named Fred sat in his doorway with his Indian girlfriend. The gasoline bomb had
hit directly under his bedroom window and scorched a concrete ledge, though no
significant damage was evident. It could have been far worse if the bottles had
struck on the roof, which is made of wood and corrugated steel.
he was at work during the attack, but that earlier in the day he had heard a
fight break out in front of the building between a group of Nigerian migrants
living on the second floor and another group of people, but he wasn’t able to
say if they were African or Israeli.
Fred said he has lived in the
ramshackle building in Hatikva for about a year and has not had any problems
with anyone in the neighborhood. He speculated that whoever threw the
firebomb meant to target his Nigerian neighbors. He added that the neighbors had
fled shortly after the attack, and had not returned.
Even if he was not
the intended target, the fact that the bottle exploded directly below his window
left an impression on Fred.
“Of course I’m scared, my life is very
important to me.”
Moments later, two plainclothes detectives approached
the door, and began questioning Fred and his girlfriend.
Police said they
don’t believe there is a connection between the attack and a string of others a
week-and-a-half earlier in the Shapira neighborhood, also in south Tel Aviv,
where four buildings inhabited by African migrants were hit by Molotov
cocktails, including a Nigerian-run daycare center.
Days after that
incident, police arrested 20-year-old Shapira resident Haim Mula, on suspicion
of carrying out the attacks.