Israel issues deportation orders for Eritreans following unrest in Tel Aviv
TEL AVIV, Israel – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has issued an order for the potential deportation of hundreds of Eritreans, following a wave of violence in Tel Aviv. The clashes involved opposing factions, one in support of long-time leader Isaias Afwerki and the other in opposition. The unrest resulted in over 170 severe injuries, prompting Netanyahu to take decisive action.
It is not uncommon for Africans living abroad to express their grievances or show solidarity with their home countries, even from a distance. However, this incident marks the first time that such violence has occurred in Israel due to unrest in Eritrea.
In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu deemed that a “red line” had been crossed and instructed the implementation of a new plan to expel all African migrants who are considered “illegal infiltrators.” The police were overwhelmed as they attempted to contain the violence from both sides.
According to the police, the violence erupted when activists opposing Isaias Afwerki’s authoritarian regime demanded the cancellation of an event organized by the Eritrean embassy in Tel Aviv. They forcefully entered the venue, which was subsequently vandalized.
A prolonged confrontation ensued, with the police engaging in running battles with the rioters. Tear gas and live ammunition were employed, and the city temporarily came to a standstill. It has since been revealed that an investigation has been launched to determine whether the use of live ammunition was justified.
Additionally, there were intense street clashes between large groups of Eritreans armed with makeshift weapons such as wooden planks, metal objects, and rocks. Along with attacking one another, they also targeted shops and cars, prompting a response from Jerusalem, which now seeks to deport Eritrean asylum seekers.
Isaias Afwerki has been in power since Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993. His style of leadership has often been criticized, with many accusing him of human rights violations, disrespect for democratic principles, and the silencing of critics through detentions.