West News Wire: In fights between opposing groups of Eritrean protesters in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, more than 100 people have been hurt. The police fired warning bullets into the air to break up the demonstrations.
On Saturday, violence broke out when a large group of Eritreans protesting against their government entered a location where a pro-government gathering was being held.
According to the Haaretz daily, protesters scaled police barriers and destroyed windows on surrounding businesses as well as those of police and other vehicles. Additionally, they were able to infiltrate the location close to the embassy of Eritrea to destroy chairs and tables there.
Israel’s emergency medical service, Magen David Adom, reported treating 114 patients, eight of whom had serious conditions.
Social media videos showed Eritrean government supporters using clubs to beat back at opposition protesters. Journalists from Reuters saw males, some of whom were laying on the ground of a playground, with head wounds and bloody arms.
From occupied East Jerusalem, news reporters says that the police were unprepared for the level of violence that erupted.
“The barriers were breached rather quickly by the protesters. Tear gas and shock grenades were used by the police as a response. The police were using riot gear, and there were ongoing fights between the protesters and the police.
At least 30 police officers were hurt during the clashes, according to Brennan, who also questioned if the police could have responded more effectively.
According to the police, they detained 39 people “who assaulted police and threw stones” at policemen. According to the police, some of them had firearms, tear gas and an electric stun gun.
Police stated that they were increasing the number of officers in the area since it was rumoured that violence between Eritreans and police as well as between supporters and opponents of the country’s leadership was still going on in other parts of south Tel Aviv.
Since Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia in 1991, President Isaias Afwerki, 77, has been in power. Voting has never taken place in Asmara. The right to free speech and the press are severely constrained, and political parties are prohibited.
There is no parliament, independent judiciary, no groups of civil society. Additionally, there is a system of forced labour and stringent mandatory military duty that many Eritreans attempt to escape.
The anti-government demonstrators had previously asked the police to cancel the pro-government event, which was organised by Eritrea’s embassy, which they accuse of trying to monitor and track them.
“There are stark divisions among the nearly 20,000 Eritreans based in Israel. Critics of the regime describe it as the North Korea of Africa,” reporters said.
“In 2019, a pro-president supporter was stabbed and beaten to death in Tel Aviv by three people opposed to the president.”