Video footage shows Israel police rudely addressing, evicting Ethiopian monks from Jerusalem complex in Heleni Hamalka Street; elderly monk said injured

By Sue Surkes (The Times of Israel) |

The Ethiopian ambassador to Israel, Tsegaye Berhe Hadera, warned Monday that the forced eviction by police of Ethiopian monks from a complex owned by the Ethiopian church in Jerusalem could spark a diplomatic crisis if not addressed immediately.

Amateur video footage aired by Channel 10 news showed police turning up last week at the complex on Jerusalem’s Heleni Hamalka Street, rudely addressing the monks, ordering them out of the building and trying to arrest one of them.

Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told The Times of Israel that the officers came to investigate a suspected burglary near the complex, and asked the monks for identification. When they didn’t provide it, he said, police accused the monks of trespassing.

“If you don’t show me identification, you don’t own the place. Now everyone get out,” one officer said in footage of the incident seen by The Times of Israel.

The complex houses an Ethiopian church and two early 20th century buildings originally designed as apartments for Ethiopian pilgrims.

The buildings have almost always been rented out, most recently to the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s radio service.

The oldest monk, 84, reportedly needed medical treatment after being thrown to the ground.

Continue reading this story at The Times of Israel
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