Prime Minister Binyain Netanyahu on Monday met with Damas Pakada, an Ethiopian Jewish soldier in the IDF who was brutally assaulted while in uniform by a police officer in Holon last Sunday, a shocking incident that has led to a string of protests among the Ethiopian community.
Ahead of another protest in Jerusalem outside the governmental compound planned for Monday, Pakada came to the Prime Minister's Office in the capital.
"I heard that you were an outstanding student at Kfar Hanoar (boarding school – ed.), that you volunteer on the weekends," Netanyahu said to Pakada upon meeting him.
Netanyahu continued, "I'm very happy to see you here and I want to tell you that I was shocked by what happened. We can't accept it, the police are dealing with it and we will need to change things."
Shifting the topic to the protests that have taken place since the incident, which on Sunday night in Tel Aviv turned violent leaving around 68 wounded, he added, "I also heard that you said you don't want to hear about violence and that is a statement of leadership. Maybe good things will come from the difficult thing you went through."
Video from the meeting in Hebrew can be seen below.
After his meeting with Netanyahu, Pakada said, "the prime minister told me that things will be taken care of. I'm very sorry about what happened yesterday," he added, referring to the violent protests which police and protesters alike have indicated were fanned into violence by radical leftist groups.
"I'm for protests but against violence," said Pakada. He added, "I don't know if I'm a symbol, I feel that the (Ethiopian) community is becoming unified."
He said that in the meeting he noted on the discrimination suffered by Ethiopian Jews, calling for the situation to be changed.
Pakada said his assault at the hands of a police officer was the first time he faced violence, noting, "the officer knocked away my phone and hit me, I felt humiliated."
"The prime minister understood things and knew what happened. He was interested in my family and the community," he added. "I'm first of all a soldier of the state of Israel, but I support the protesters. I hope for a change soon with G-d's help."