Four injured in clashes between Eritreans in South Tel Aviv

Nearby, protests held in support and against migrants

demonstrators hold a petition for rehabilitation of South Tel Aviv (photo credit: Courtesy)
demonstrators hold a petition for rehabilitation of South Tel Aviv
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Clashes between Eritreans who support the regime in their home country and those who oppose it broke out for a third night in a row on Tuesday in south Tel Aviv.
Police said that four people were injured in brawls in the area of the Central Bus Station. Three of them were lightly injured and one was seriously wounded after being stabbed.
Police arrested six people and said they had increased forces in the area working to restore order.
Simultaneously, in the same area, two demonstrations were held by local supporters and opponents of the deportation of asylum-seekers.
Protesting in Levinsky park, one group expressed their support for the canceled deal between Israel and the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) that would have allowed some 16,000 of the African migrants to remain in the country, while another 16,000 would have been absorbed by other Western countries.
The other group of protesters are against the deal and in favor of deporting asylum- seekers.
Former minister Gideon Sa’ar took to social media in an expression of support for the latter group.
“Perhaps the absurd spectacle of street battles in Tel Aviv between supporters and opponents of the Eritrean regime will open people’s eyes. European courts have ruled that there is no inherent danger in the return of every Eritrean citizen to their country.”
Sa’ar said Israel must review each case and to return them “to the homeland they are fighting over our streets.”
Meanwhile, Shula Keshet, the leader of the Residents of South Tel Aviv Against Deportation group, called on police to stop violence perpetrated by supporters of the Eritrean regime. “There is verbal abuse against south Tel Aviv residents who oppose the deportation that also must be stopped,” she said addressing the pro-migrants protest.
Asylum-seeker Tomas Younes also addressed the crowd and said he was speaking on behalf of the Eritrean community. After describing the dictatorship, suffering, lack of freedoms, imprisonment and torture from which they fled, he addressed the violence which broke out recently in south Tel Aviv among Eritreans.
“Those you see causing trouble in the streets are people who the Eritrean embassy is sending to cause problems inside and around the community,” Younes said. “The regime is sending people to cause problems in the community so that out requests won’t be addressed. So that the State of Israel will think we bring violence with us.”
Addressing all residents of south Tel Aviv, those protesting against asylum-seekers as well as those supporting them, he said: “I also do not want to live in fear of violence. I fled from fear of violence. I am very sad that violence is entering south Tel Aviv. I thank and support the police in their efforts to keep the order and to protect the residents and we promise to do everything we can to maintain safety in the neighborhoods.”
“We need your help to work together and to improve the situation for you and for us,” he concluded, inviting residents to join him at a protest outside the Eritrean embassy next week to protest violence and dictatorship.