BREAKING: Bloody Scenes in Tel Aviv as Israeli Police Cracks Down on Eritrean Protests

At least 170 people were injured on Saturday during clashes between Israeli police and hundreds of Eritrean asylum seekers in Tel Aviv. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

At least 170 people were injured on Saturday during clashes between Israeli police and hundreds of Eritrean asylum seekers in Tel Aviv.

The majority of the wounded were Eritreans. However, 30 Israeli policemen were wounded in the clashes, Aljazeera Net reported. 

Clashes reportedly began in front of a hall in south Tel Aviv set to host a pro-Eritrean government event organized by the Eritrean embassy in Israel.

Three-Way Clashes 

Hundreds of opponents of the Eritrean government flocked to the site to prevent the event, and clashes and riots broke out between supporters and opponents, before security forces, which considered the gathering an unauthorized demonstration, intervened and ordered the street to be cleared.

The clashes on both sides were accompanied by demonstrators throwing stones, wooden planks, and garbage bags at the police, Israeli media claimed. 

More police were called to the scene, using stun grenades, firing in the air, and using live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters.

In a statement, the office of rightwing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the police and all security services to send reinforcements and put an immediate end to the protests. 

Violent videos and bloody images shared on social media show excessive use of force by the Israeli police, with many black men lying on the ground, bleeding or groaning in pain. 

As of June, there were 17,850 Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel, the majority of whom had come to Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula years earlier. 

Many have settled in slums in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

Eritrea has been ruled by President Isaias Afwerki with an iron fist since the country formally declared independence in 1993. 

It is one of the world’s most isolated countries, ranking very low in the global rankings of press freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and economic development.

Racism in Israel 

Black refugees, asylum seekers, and even dark-skinned Israeli citizens often complain of systematic racism by the state, financial institutions, and Israeli society. 

This often led to confrontations between black Israelis, refugees and the police, though dark-skinned protesters are often at the receiving end of violence.  

In 2022, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, citing an Israeli Justice Ministry report, said that 24 percent of the complaints involving racism and discrimination were filed by people of Ethiopian descent.

The same percentage was registered in complaints filed by Arabs. 


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