Israel Briefs: Ethiopian Israelis Protest in Tel Aviv

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Ethiopian Israelis Protest Alleged Police Brutality

More than 1,000 Ethiopian Israelis and supporters blocked intersections in Tel Aviv on Jan. 30, claiming police there have committed racial brutality and are involved in institutional racism, JTA reported.

A week earlier, Ethiopian Israeli Yehuda Biadga — who suffered from mental illness — was killed while running toward a police officer with a knife.

Protestors said the officer shot Biadga, 24, because he was black, but the officer said he feared for life. The officer is on leave, with an investigation pending.

Ethiopian-Israeli community leaders contend there have been numerous incidents of police brutality that’s part of a pattern toward Ethiopian Israelis. They want a judge to look into the incident instead of the usual department that investigates police incidents — the Justice Ministry.

Rabbis Defend Teen Charged in Palestinian Slaying

Four prominent Israeli rabbis are asking the public to donate money to help defend a Jewish teen charged in the October killing of a Palestinian woman, The Times of Israel reported.

In an open letter published Jan. 31, the rabbis, who are leaders in the religious Zionist movement, ask for the public to contribute to a “liberation fund.”

The suspect — who has not been identified — is a 16-year-old student at a yeshiva high school in the northern West Bank settlement of Rehelim. He has been charged with manslaughter, aggravated stone throwing at a moving vehicle and intentional sabotage of a vehicle.

Aisha Rabi, 47, and a mother of eight, died when a rock smashed through her car and struck her in the head. She was pronounced dead soon thereafter at a nearby clinic.

In a recent video clip, the suspect’s father said his son was at his yeshiva when the incident happened.

Israel Considers Ban of Amnesty International

Israeli politicians have begun investigations into whether Amnesty International should be banned from the country after the organization called on four travel companies to erase Jewish listings located in Judea, Samaria or eastern Jerusalem, JNS.org reported.

“The hypocritical Amnesty organization speaks in the name of human rights and, in effect, promotes boycotts against Israeli citizens as part of the anti-Semitic boycott and delegitimization campaign,” Minister of Internal Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said.

More than 800,000 Jews live in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, which is about 12 percent of all Jews in Israel.

Amnesty International asked Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and Expedia to remove listings.

“In doing business with settlements, all four companies are contributing to, and profiting from, the maintenance, development and expansion of illegal settlements, which amount to war crimes under international criminal law,” Amnesty International said.

More Tunnels from Lebanon Reported

Israel told the United Nations that there continues to be “underground infrastructure” associated with Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanon border, JNS.org reported, citing The Times of Israel.

“Hezbollah’s construction work on these additional tunnels ceased last month when the terror organization realized its plans were known by the Israeli side,” The Times of Israel reported. “None of the new tunnels had reached the Israeli border, unlike the six tunnels that have been destroyed by Israel. l

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