A 68-year-old Eritrean man was severely beaten by drunken youths on Jerusalem’s Agrippas Street early Friday morning. A 23-year-old man who tried to assist him was also attacked.
The Eritrean migrant was “badly beaten all over his body,” while the younger man, an employee of a nearby bakery, had been “punched several times in the face,” Israeli news site Walla quoted an MDA medic as saying.
“We were all shocked,” the medic, Hagit Farkash, added.
The two men were taken to The Hadassah University Hospital in Ein-Kerem for treatment.
It was the second time in recent months that migrants were targeted in Jerusalem, which is home to a small but growing African community, mostly centered near the city’s Mahane Yehuda outdoor market.
Last month, arsonists set fire to an apartment housing African migrants on Jaffa Road. Ten people were pulled out of the apartment, and four Eritreans were treated for smoke inhalation.
Graffiti was also found spray-painted above a door of the apartment, saying, “Get out of the neighborhood.”
Violence targeting African migrants in Israel has mostly subsided in recent weeks after peaking in May, when scores of demonstrators rallied in Tel Aviv for the deportation of the estimated 60,000-70,000 strong migrant community in the country.
On Sunday, the Interior Ministry reported that the number of Africans illegally crossing Israel’s southern border had dropped dramatically in June, following the recent initiative to deport migrants and offer cash incentives and flights to those who leave voluntarily.
A border fence under construction along the Israel-Egypt border is also intended to stem the flow of migrants from Africa.
Joshua Davidovich and Gabe Fisher contributed to this report.