Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Haim Goren and his family were attacked by a gang of Eritrean youth Tuesday night, he announced after he filed a police complaint on Wednesday morning.
Goren called on the cooperation of local and state officials in addressing the problems of illegal immigration and lawlessness in south Tel Aviv in the wake of Saturday’s clashes between pro- and anti-regime Eritreans.
“My children and also my wife were attacked during a class at the community center by youth, the children of Eritrean infiltrators,” Goren said in a video in which he stood in front of a police station, a copy of the police complaint in hand. “And this is not the first time, we will put an end to this, we understand that they see how the adults behave, and if we don’t stop this here and now, like we promise to do, this thing will continue on to the next generation, and the next generation will act like this, and we won’t get out of this.”
Tel Aviv community identifies rioters, provided to police
Goren said that through various means the community had been able to identify names of participants of rioters, and had provided them to the police. He said that further store owners had contacted him to collect video footage identifying more rioters.
The deputy mayor said that he believed that the police would act accordingly, and he hoped that the courts would also recognize the needs of the community and would keep them detained so that they could be removed from the neighborhoods.
“As part of my duties, as a council member and in charge of security in the city, I continue to act with a strong hand against the lawbreakers who endanger the residents of the south of the city, and I will not stop despite the attack on my family members, but rather the opposite,” Goren said in a statement.
The Saturday riots at a planned protest against the Eritrean regime saw storefronts smashed with stones and 160 people injured. Police Chief Kobi Shabtai said on Monday at the annual Israel Bar Association conference that the incident had crossed red lines in terms of extreme violence, in which police were forced to use live fire. Sixty officers were injured and others were placed in danger during the clashes, he said.
A 41-year-old Eritrean man was arrested on Tuesday after having been spotted with a suspected illegal pistol during the riots. He was one of eight rioters that were arrested that day. Thirty-nine people were arrested during the riots.
After a meeting with senior police officials on Monday night, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s request to transfer all arrested Eritrean rioters to administrative detention was fast-tracked. The move was met with resistance by refugee rights organization The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, who said that the government was neglecting asylum seekers and police had failed to provide adequate protection despite warnings preceding the protest against the Eritrean regime.
A ministerial task force on the issue was held on Sunday, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for strident measures including deportations of the rioters.