Following violent clashes on the streets of Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he wants the Eritrean migrants who were involved in the bloody skirmishes to be deported immediately. The prime minister said he has also ordered a plan to remove all African migrants from Israel.
Violent clashes broke out Saturday in Tel Aviv between supporters and opponents of Eritrea’s repressive government and the East African country’s authoritarian leader, President Isaias Afwerki.
The confrontation between the two factions occurred at a pro-Eritrean event at Eritrea’s embassy.
Israel’s emergency service said at least 114 people were injured in the fracas.
Israeli police used stun grenades to break up the clashes, resulting in the protesters hurling stones at the police.
Agence France-Presse reports that police used live fire against the protesters and that 27 police officers were wounded.
Men with head wounds and bloodied arms sought refuge on the grounds of a children’s playground, according to Reuters.
There are about 20,000 Eritrean asylum seekers living in Israel. Many of them arrived in Israel illegally over Israel’s border with Egypt.
Netanyahu’s office issued a statement Saturday saying that the prime minister would convene a special ministerial team Sunday “to examine measures to be taken against illegal infiltrators who took part in the disturbances, including steps toward deportation.”
The Eritreans say they will face persecution if they are repatriated.
Some information in this report came from Reuters, Agence France-Presse and the Associated Press.