A protest by African migrants in Israel and their supporters, originally set to be held Sunday outside the Knesset in Jerusalem, was canceled in light of the death of former prime minister Ariel Sharon.
Leaders of the migrants’ campaign decided on Saturday to cancel the event after news reached them that Sharon, who had been in an eight-year coma, had died and his body would lie in state at the Knesset on Sunday.
“We decided not to hold the action out of the desire to join in mourning with the people of Israel,” one of the leaders told Maariv.
Sharon’s body is to lie in state from noon to 6 p.m. in an event expected to draw many thousands and snarl traffic in the capital.
Last week, a well-organized campaign was launched by the African migrants in support of their quest for official refugee status in Israel. On Wednesday, a crowd of 10,000 gathered at the Knesset, and on Sunday, an estimated 20,000 rallied in Tel Aviv while over 100 migrants began an open-ended hunger strike.