A dozen Eritrean asylum seekers were injured on September 2 by Israeli police gunfire after trying to prevent a rally organized by the Eritrean government in Tel Aviv, authorities said.
An impromptu rally turned into a riot after hundreds of Eritreans hostile to their country’s government gathered on September 2 outside a south Tel Aviv venue that was to host a pro-regime event organized by the Eritrean embassy. in Israel. 12
The Israeli police then declared the assembly illegal and ordered the evacuation of the premises. But protesters “thrown rocks and wooden planks” at officers, and some of them vandalized shops in the area, police said.
27 injured in the police, live ammunition fired on the rioters
Israeli security forces said they initially deployed reinforcements and used riot dispersal means. But “the police, who feared for their lives, fired live ammunition at the rioters,” the police added in a statement, adding that 27 of its members were injured in the clashes.
Police said 39 suspects had been arrested for “assaulting police officers and throwing rocks at them”. Some carried “weapons, self-defense gas bombs and electric stun guns”.
The Magen David Adom, the equivalent of the Red Cross in Israel, said it treated 114 people, eight of whom were seriously injured. Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital said it admitted 38 people injured in the clashes, including a dozen who were shot.
Police said they were beefing up their numbers in the area, as clashes between Eritreans and police, as well as between supporters and opponents of the Eritrean regime, continued elsewhere in south Tel Aviv.
Nearly 18,000 Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel
According to June statistics, 17,850 Eritrean asylum seekers are in Israel. Most arrived illegally via Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula several years ago and settled in poor neighborhoods of Tel Aviv.
They left their country led by President Isaias Afwerki, since its official declaration of independence obtained in 1993 after thirty years of war with Ethiopia.
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