Netanyahu: Civilians Should Not Take the Law Into Their Own Hands

Israeli prime minister responds to killing of Eritrean migrant, who was shot by an Israeli soldier and then beaten by passersby during Be'er Sheva terror attack.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
Memorial service for Habtom Zarhum, Oct. 19, 2015.
Memorial service for Habtom Zarhum, Oct. 19, 2015.Credit: Courtesy
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Israeli civilians should not take the law into their own hands, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday in response to Sunday's terror attack in Be'er Sheva, where an Israeli soldier shot an Eritrean migrant after mistakenly identifying him as a terrorist.

The migrant, Habtom Zarhum, was also beaten by civilians and a soldier after he was shot, according to security cameras on the premises of the Be'er Sheva central bus station. He later died of his wounds.

The terrorist shot and killed Israeli soldier Omri Levy, before being himself killed.

"We are in an extended struggle that we will surely win," said Netanyahu, who sent his condolences to the families of both victims. "The matter causes confrontations between citizens at the sites of terror attacks. Citizens act logically and determinedly. People who are caught at the scene need to make way for security personnel. No one should take the law into his own hands."

Netanyahu accused social networks as being a driving force behind such "murderous events." He said Israel had investigated the terrorists, visited Facebook pages and found incitement setting these murderous acts into motion.

"It's no coincidence," he said. "This incitement comes from clear sources – from Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement.

He added: "We will announce a number of steps against the Islamic Movement in the coming days. We won't accept Israeli citizens inciting and causing such acts."

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