Eritrean migrant mistaken for Beersheba terrorist killed by gunfire, not beating


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Eritrean migrant mistaken for an assailant during a terrorist attack at the Beersheba bus station died from gunshot wounds, not from the beatings he sustained by Israelis.

The results of the autopsy on Haftom Zarhum, 29, who died at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba several hours after the Sunday night attack, were released Wednesday. The autopsy found that Zarhum had eight gunshot wounds, two of which were fatal, Haaretz reported, citing the report issued by Israel’s Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Hundreds of Eritrean asylum seekers and friends of Zarhum gathered at a park in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night to mourn his death.

Police are working to identify the people who beat Zarhum following the bus station attack and could bring them in for questioning. They could be charged with assault in the incident, but not with murder, based on the autopsy results.

Israeli leaders roundly condemned the killing.

statement posted on the Israel Police website said the attack on the downed man was a “very grave” incident and that it would “not allow citizens to take the law into their own hands.” The statement also called on citizens to “act with restraint and extra caution and to allow the police to perform their job.”

The Defense Ministry told the Israeli media that Zarhum would not be recognized as a terrorist victim in Israel since he entered the country illegally.

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