Parents of Eritrean Asylum Seeker Killed in Mob Attack Sue Israel

The family is suing the police, a security firm and five people after Haftom Zarhum was mistaken for the assailant in a Be'er Sheva shooting attack last October.

Video footage from the October 18, 2015 terror attack at the Be'er Sheva bus station, showing Zarhum being kicked while lying bleeding on the floor.
Screengrab

The parents of an Eritrean asylum seeker who was killed after being mistaken for the assailant in a terror attack is suing the state and the assailants for at least 3 million shekels ($774,000).

At the Be’er Sheva bus station last October, Haftom Zarhum was shot by a security guard and security forces and then beaten and kicked by a mob as he lay dying for 18 minutes, video showed. In the initial terror attack, the gunman was shot and killed, an Israeli soldier was killed, and 11 others were wounded.

The lawsuit by Zarhum’s parents, who live in Eritrea, was filed at the Be’er Sheva District Court, Channel 1 News reported.

“We are suing the Israel Police, the MAG 58 security company, the security officer who did the shooting and all four people who were indicted for the assault,” said attorney Lior Lugasi, who filed the suit on behalf of Zarhum’s parents.

CCTV footage shows Eritrean national shot and beaten in Be'er Sheva

Zarhum has not yet been recognized by the National Insurance Institute as a terror victim, Lugasi said, though he has been classified as one on the website of the Prime Minister’s Office.

After the Be’er Sheva attack, the Defense Ministry said Zarhum would not be recognized as a terror victim because he had entered Israel illegally. But then-Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said the state could pay compensation to the family via the special committee for terror victims. Lugasi says Zarhum’s parents have not yet applied to the committee.