An Eritrean migrant mistaken for a Palestinian gunman in the midst of a shooting attack, who was shot by Israeli security forces and then beaten by passers-by, witnesses said, died of his injuries, the hospital said on 19 October. In a sign of Israeli alarm over a surge in Palestinian attacks on Israelis, video footage showed the man lying on the ground bleeding, with armed paramilitary police surrounding him, in an apparent effort to protect him from several people who broke the loose cordon and kicked him in the head several times.
The beating took place when an Arab gunman went on a shooting rampage at the central bus station in the southern Israeli city Beersheba, killing a soldier and wounding at least 10 other people. Police had initially said two gunmen carried out the attack but later admitted one man shot by security forces was misidentified as an assailant. The gunman who did carry out the attack was a Bedouin from southern Israel and was shot dead at the scene, police said.
Video from the scene showed the Eritrean man was shot before being beaten and witnesses on Israeli radio confirmed this. Nitza Neuman-Heiman, deputy director general of Soroka Medical Center, told Army Radio he died of both gunshot wounds and the injuries he sustained. Sagi Malachi, the man's employer, identified him as Mila Abtum, an agricultural worker, and described him as a quiet, modest man. He said he had travelled to Beersheba to renew his visa.
Forty-two Palestinians and eight Israelis have died in the one of the worst outbreaks of violence in years, which was in part triggered by Palestinians' anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound.