Firebombs thrown at TA Africans, 2nd time in 2 weeks

Police say they don't believe there is a connection between incident and previous attack in Shapira; no damage, injuries.

May 6, 2012 16:47
1 minute read.
Molotov cocktail attack in Hatikva

Molotov cocktail attack in Hatikva 370. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)


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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 neighborhood.

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 injuries.

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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.

Fred said 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.

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