Violent clashes erupt in Tel Aviv between Eritrean groups, leaving over 150 injured, many from gunshots, including dozens of police.
Tel Aviv witnessed violent confrontations between Eritrean asylum-seekers and the police over the weekend. The clashes were initiated during a protest against an event held by the Eritrean Embassy. Eritrean groups opposing the regime in their home country confronted pro-regime activists, leading to widespread violence.
At least 135 individuals were rushed to hospitals, primarily due to gunshot wounds resulting from police intervention. By Sunday, 43 of these were admitted to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Medical Center, where 14 were initially in serious condition, some even requiring brain surgery. Other injured individuals were treated at various medical centers including Sheba, Wolfson, Shamir-Assaf Harofeh, and Beilinson. Doctor reported that the bloody influx was unlike anything that had seen since massive terror attacks during the Second Intifade two decades ago.
In the midst of the chaos, a police officer suffered a severe head injury after being hit by a part of a camping stove, emphasizing the volatility of the situation. As per reports, about 30 police officers in all4 were injured, with many resorting to live fire when they perceived threats to their lives. The police detained 39 individuals after restoring order.
Eritreans, who mostly arrived in Israel through Egypt between 2007 and 2012, represent a significant portion of the over 30,000 African asylum-seekers in the country. Many of them have fled from what’s often described as the “North Korea of Africa” due to its notorious human rights violations, forced military conscription, and lack of political freedoms.
Eritrea, under the leadership of President Isaias Afwerki since 1993, has no free media, no elections, and exit visas are obligatory. Its young population often faces indefinite military service, drawing sharp criticism from global human rights entities.
This Tel Aviv incident isn’t isolated. Recent months have seen similar protests erupt globally. As Eritrea marked its 30th independence anniversary, events organized by its government and diaspora in Europe and North America were met with hostility, leading the Eritrean government to label some protesters as “asylum scum.”
In Israel, the status of these migrants remains contentious. Most Eritreans are labeled as “infiltrators” with their asylum requests either unexamined, outright rejected, or not even filed. Efforts by the Israeli government to persuade or forcefully deport members of the Eritrean community have been continually challenged by the High Court of Justice, underscoring the ongoing debate over the judiciary’s role in “safeguarding human rights” but also setting the stage for third world disorder and massive bloodshed. Minister Smotrich laid the blame for the riots squarely at the High Court’s door.