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Photo by: Henry Rome
Ethiopian immigrants protest poor housing conditions near Knesset; 9 arrested
By HENRY ROME
03/12/2013
Around 100 people protest in capital, clash with police.
 
A protest near the Knesset turned violent on Tuesday, resulting in light injuries for two police officers and the arrests of nine protesters of Ethiopian origin.

Around 100 people protested poor housing conditions for new immigrants, clogging up traffic in Givat Ram. Carrying signs and Israeli flags and banging on empty gasoline containers, the protesters assailed the level of housing aid and the cramped living conditions in government housing.

“The housing is not comfortable to live in,” one protester, Fasil Worku, said. “The housing is not good.”

The protest turned violent briefly, and by afternoon scores of police officers, four police horses and a water cannon truck had parked nearby.

At one point in the early afternoon, a leader of the protest called on the group to walk away from the Knesset, on Kaplan Street, toward the Interior Ministry. Dozens of police officers followed the group to back up officers at the ministry. But only minutes later, the group abruptly turned around and moved back toward the Knesset, causing police officers to sprint back to their previous posts.

The back-and-forth continued throughout the afternoon.

The protest was coordinated with the police, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
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