Aryeh Deri
Aryeh DeriMiriam Alster/Flash 90

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri responded to the widespread riots across the country by members of the Ethiopian community in response to the shooting of an Ethiopian man, Solomon Tekah, in Haifa on Monday. Dozen of people were injured at the riots and property was damaged, including MDA ambulances, police vehicles and private vehicles. Some cars were flipped over and others were set on fire.

"We also weren't accepted into schools and jobs," Deri wrote on Twitter. "They treated us also with contempt and racism. We too were called blacks. They rejected us also. They looked down on us also and still look down [on us]. My brothers from the Ethiopian community: from experience, racism isn't defeated by rocks and fires. Racism is defeated by action, by being proud and by contempt of those who are arrogant."

Earlier tonight, the lawyer of the policeman who shot Tekah, held a press conference at which he deplored the public condemnation of his client, who is currently hiding with his family under heavy police protection out of fear for their lives. According to the lawyer, the police officer only shot Tekah in self-defense, aiming his gun at the ground, and there is no evidence that contradicts his claim at this point as the situation is still under investigation.

"The damage caused to my client, his wife and children is enormous and intensifies each day that passes," the lawyer said. "This difficult journey is only at the beginning. My client found himself in a precarious situation in which his life and his family's life were in immediate and tangible danger, and as a last resort, he was forced to use his weapon for defensive purposes only."

"There is still no evidence or conclusions against him, and on social networks he is called a murderer and he and his children are threatened with execution. This must be stopped. On behalf of my client and his family, I request to put an end to this witch hunt — enough of the spread of false rumors and threats. Let the investigation be completed and clarify the truth.