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Dozens protest upsurge in crime by African migrants

Demonstration in southern Tel Aviv prompted by Sudanese man allegedly burglarizing home, assaulting family

South Tel Aviv residents protest the influx of migrants in their neighborhoods in May 2012. (photo credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
South Tel Aviv residents protest the influx of migrants in their neighborhoods in May 2012. (photo credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Dozens of people took to the streets of Tel Aviv Wednesday evening to protest an ostensible increase in violent crimes perpetrated by African migrants in the city. The demonstration was precipitated by a break-in on Wednesday morning that culminated in an assault on a mother and her daughter.

According to police, a 22-year-old Sudanese migrant entered a home in the Yad Eliyahu neighborhood of southern Tel Aviv through an unlocked window. After gathering several items, he reportedly entered the bedroom of the family’s eight-year-old daughter and attempted to sexually assault her.

The mother, who woke up and tried to intervene, was stabbed in the thigh by the intruder. She was lightly injured.

The husband and father, a martial arts expert, woke up from the commotion and attacked the stranger, beating him into unconsciousness. He tied him up, checked on his family and alerted the authorities.

The intruder was seriously injured and taken to Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital), where he was placed on a respirator. Later on Wednesday, he was arraigned at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, where his remand was extended for six days.

The mother was treated at Wolfson Medical Center, in the southern part of the city.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said Wednesday that the city was making efforts to keep citizens safe and provide a sense of security. Measures included the addition of hundreds of security cameras in problematic areas.

Police beefed up their presence in the area on Wednesday to thwart possible retribution attacks.

In December, protesters called for the deportation of Sudanese and Eritrean migrants from Israel after an Eritrean man allegedly raped an 83-year-old Tel Aviv woman.

There are roughly 60,000 African migrants in Israel, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan. The migrants are concentrated in the low-income neighborhoods of southern Tel Aviv.

In recent months, the flow of African migrants into Israel has been significantly reduced, largely due to the construction of a new fence along the Egyptian border.

Gabe Fisher contributed to this report.

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