Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded the immediate deportation of Eritrean migrants who were involved in a violent clash with Israeli police in Tel Aviv on Sunday. The incident, which occurred near the central bus station, left 13 police officers injured and 12 migrants arrested.
According to Israeli media reports, the clash erupted after a group of Eritrean migrants tried to prevent the arrest of one of their compatriots, who was suspected of stealing a phone from a passerby. The migrants surrounded the police officers and attacked them with stones, bottles, and metal bars. The police responded with tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
Netanyahu condemned the violence and said that it was unacceptable and intolerable. He said that he had instructed the Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and the Public Security Minister Amir Ohana to expedite the deportation of the Eritrean migrants who were involved in the incident, as well as those who had entered Israel illegally or whose asylum requests had been rejected.
“We will not allow anyone to harm our police officers and our citizens,” Netanyahu said. “We will act with determination and force against anyone who breaks the law and endangers public order.”
Israel hosts about 35,000 African migrants, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, who have fled war and persecution in their home countries. However, Israel considers them as “infiltrators” and “economic migrants” who pose a threat to its security and identity. Israel has been trying to deport them to third countries or encourage them to leave voluntarily by offering them cash incentives and air tickets.
However, Israel’s deportation policy has faced legal challenges and international criticism. The Supreme Court has ruled that Israel cannot deport migrants to countries where their lives or freedom are in danger, such as Eritrea and Sudan. The UN refugee agency has also urged Israel to respect the rights of asylum seekers and refugees and to provide them with protection and integration.
The Eritrean migrants have also protested against their treatment by Israel and demanded recognition as refugees. They have complained of discrimination, racism, and abuse by Israeli authorities and society. They have also faced difficulties in accessing health care, education, and employment.
The Eritrean community in Israel has condemned the violence in Tel Aviv and expressed its solidarity with the injured police officers. It has also called for a peaceful dialogue with the Israeli government and society to resolve the issue of their status and future.