Black Hebrews: Police called us Sudanese, told us to leave Israel

In a police confrontation over the weekend, Black Hebrews claim police said they were illegal migrants, didn't know they had served in army.

April 8, 2014 17:15
2 minute read.
Israel police.

Police car370. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Members of the Black Hebrew community from Dimona accused the Israel Police of discriminating against them while breaking up a birthday party in south Tel Aviv over the weekend.

Police arrived at the party, which was held in a public park, after receiving noise complaints from nearby residents, Channel 2 reported.

James Christmas, the father of the birthday girl, said a police officer came up to him at the party and began to push him. “Get out of here you Sudanese, what are you doing in this country? Get out!” the officer then shouted in the microphone, the father said.

Christmas added that the officer did not realize that they were Israeli and had served in the IDF.

According to police, after they confiscated the sound equipment and detained a man for questioning, the man’s friends came to the police station and tried to force their way in. In the resulting confrontation, the party-goers violently attacked officers at the station entrance, police said.

One party-goer and two policemen were injured. One officer was kicked in the head and taken to Ichilov Hospital at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a concussion and considerable damage to his cervical vertebrae in his neck.

Officers overtook three of the attackers and arrested them, police said. The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court extended their remand by three days.

Christmas said police were waiting for them when they arrived at the station, and that they pushed the Black Hebrew men and shot one in the back with a Taser gun without provocation.

A witness who lives near the police station told Channel 2 he saw four men who looked drunk, along with a woman, all of whom asked to enter the station. A police officer tried to prevent them from getting in, but he spoke to them calmly, without making threats or using force, the witness said.

The officer told the group they could not enter the station, the witness said, and three of the men tried to enter by force. The officer called for backup, and when one of the young men tried to run away, he was shot with the Taser gun, he said.

Misha Goncharov, who was detained earlier for the sound equipment violation at the party, said that before he was released, the police asked him questions about the party-goers.

He said they asked if they were Sudanese or illegal migrants.

“I told them that some of the people were African- American, some were Black Hebrews from Dimona, and that there were people there who had also served in the IDF,” Goncharov told Channel 2.

An investigation is ongoing.

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