Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the immediate deportation of Eritrean migrants involved in recent violent clashes in Tel Aviv.
He held a meeting to discuss measures against those who participated, referring to them as illegal infiltrators.
“What happened yesterday crossed a red line. It’s a riot, it’s bloodshed, these are riots we cannot accept. Therefore, the first thing I do is to wish recovery to the police officers who were injured during the attempts to restore order. We ask for strong measures against the rioters, including the immediate deportation of those who took part in it,” said Benjamin Netanyahu.
This statement followed a violent confrontation between Eritrean government supporters and opponents, resulting in injuries to dozens, including police officers and protesters hit by police fire.
Eritreans constitute the majority of the African asylum seekers in Israel, but Israel recognizes only a few as asylum seekers, viewing most as economic migrants.
"I have a hard time understanding why we would have a problem with those who declare themselves to be supporters of the (Eritrean) regime, so they certainly cannot make a claim of to be refugees. I also request that this forum will prepare a complete and updated plan for the removal of all other illegal infiltrators from the state of Israel, and this is the purpose of this gathering today," added the PM.
The presence of migrants has been a divisive issue in the country, with supporters advocating for asylum and opponents citing concerns about crime in low-income neighbourhoods where they reside.