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Eritrean Family Whose Baby Was Stabbed by Israeli Receives Asylum in European Country

by Ilan Lior The baby, Kako Yamena, was seriously wounded two years ago when an Israeli stabbed her in the head with a pair of scissors near Tel Aviv's central bus station. An Eritrean family whose baby

by Ilan Lior

The baby, Kako Yamena, was seriously wounded two years ago when an Israeli stabbed her in the head with a pair of scissors near Tel Aviv’s central bus station.

An Eritrean family whose baby was stabbed in Tel Aviv two years ago left Israel last week for a European country.

The baby, Kako Yamena, was seriously wounded when an Israeli stabbed her in the head with a pair of scissors near Tel Aviv’s central bus station. Though she survived and is now about three and a half years old, she suffered serious motor disabilities and still needs therapy.
The assailant, Michael Zaretzky, said God had told him to stab a black baby. He was ruled insane and therefore unfit to stand trial.

Despite the circumstances of the attack, the state refused to recognize Yamena, who was born in Israel, as the victim of a hate crime. Then-Interior Minister Gilad Erdan did grant her legal residency in Israel on humanitarian grounds, but refused to award the same status to her family, which made her own status useless: Since her parents had no legal status, the National Insurance Institute wouldn’t finance her medical treatment.

Erdan’s successor, Silvan Shalom, also refused to grant her parents and older sister legal residency. The case was referred to the interministerial committee in charge of awarding residency for humanitarian reasons, but that panel never made a decision.

Kako’s mother Yordanes, who was holding her when she was stabbed, was traumatized by the incident and now rarely leaves her house. Her father, Muli, was summoned to the open detention facility in Holot sometime after the stabbing, but managed to get the summons canceled.

For the last two years, the family has lived mainly off donations from individual Israelis and help from human rights activists. Donations also paid for Kako’s expensive medical treatment, which cost thousands of shekels a month. A relative who is also in Israel moved in with the family in their tiny Tel Aviv apartment to help them on an ongoing basis.

Recently, responding to an appeal by human rights activists who had despaired of getting the family proper treatment in Israel, a European country agreed to accept the Yamanas as a humanitarian case and grant them housing, medical and psychological treatment and social benefits. However, the country conditioned its assent on its name not being publicized, to avoid conflict with Israel.

The country also refused to take in any members of the extended family, including the relative who moved in with the Yamanas. Thus the parents’ siblings and their children will remain in Israel.

“On the one hand, the family is very excited. On the other, they understand they’re going to a place where all their friends and community, including the Israelis that embraced them, won’t be there,” said Sigal Avivi, a human rights activist that has accompanied the family since the stabbing.

“This is very upsetting for them. The girls grew up speaking Hebrew, and to them, Israel was home. The oldest daughter did not want to leave at all.”

Avivi added: “I am very happy for the family, but it’s hard for me, because it was the State of Israel and Israeli society’s obligation to help and support this family.”


Review overview
  • Berhe Tensea January 19, 2016

    There is no safety any where for refugees. The only solution is to be the owners of your land, by removing the cause that made you leave your country.
    Eritrea the land of hundreds of thousands of martyrs supposed to be a safe and hospitable for its citizens.
    The meaning of freedom is becoming an illusion for the innocent Eritrean people.
    In Asmara coffee shops I read ” if what we have now is a freedom , what was the the Ethiopian colonialism?” Every one coming out of the washroom was showing sadness and with unbelievable facial expression.
    The Eritrean people are facing a sad chapter in their history that can not be compared with past problems.

    • AHMED SALEH !!! January 20, 2016

      “If what we have is freedom , what is Ethiopian colonialism ” ?
      Timely question to all Eritreans that serve Issayas government interest
      especially those tegadelti veterans must think thoroughly give an honest answer .

  • Berhane January 20, 2016

    Yes Essayas must go inorder Eritreans to live in their country peacefully. All refugees will easly return home if this dictator and crooneys are disposed.

  • Julian January 24, 2016

    Calling ethiopia a colonizer is ‘gif’. That’s where the answer is lying. It’s utterly wrong to call Ethiopia a colonizer. Ethiopia had an oppressive leader, mengistu. He was oppressive to all. That’s a fact. If one asks how Eritreans are faring now? Then the answer becomes “worest than they ever be under any leadership” See, honest reflection is what is lacking from the elite Eritreans.
    May the Almighty God bring peace upon all Eritreans.

  • sidi abdu February 6, 2016

    Eritrea is like a step ladder that is going backward with end final leading to hell hole. The top step of the ladder was Haile Selasie days, the middle step was Mengustu era; and the final steps are comrade Issias is holding court for now while leading the people to hell hole. We have very few chance left for us to jump to the ground level away from the hell hole and save our country.If we don’t act now , we are going to be doomed to go under. Oh Eritreans rise up and demand justice,demand democracy where we can have a democratic non religious,non tribal and non sexist society.

    God bless Eritrea