Over 100 injured in clashes involving Eritrean groups in Tel Aviv

Over 100 people were injured in violent clashes in Tel Aviv between Eritrean government supporters celebrating an Eritrea Day event and opponents of President Isaias Afwerki.

Israeli police deployed stun grenades to disperse the clashes, with some demonstrators throwing stones at the police and setting fire to garbage bins, as reported by journalists on-site. Social media footage also depicted Eritrean government supporters using clubs to assault anti-government protesters.

Israeli medical authorities reported that over 114 individuals had received treatment for injuries, which included approximately 30 police officers.

The violence erupted during an event organized by the Eritrean embassy to commemorate Revolution Day on September 1, which marks the beginning of the Eritrean War of Independence against Ethiopia in 1961.

Isaias has been in power since Eritrea gained independence in 1993. Human rights organizations have criticized his government for its severe repression, and both the United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on the country for alleged human rights abuses.

“Why did we run from our country?,” one protester in Tel Aviv, Hagos Gavriot, told Reuters. “Why the Israeli police gave them a permit to celebrate‚Ķfor this dictator? We are against this. Why am I here seeking a shelter?”

Journalists on the scene witnessed men with head injuries and bloody arms, some of them lying on the ground in a children’s playground. Meanwhile, police moved through the streets, using stun grenades against the protesters.

“At this time, large police and Border Police forces continue to operate against lawbreakers in the Tel Aviv area,” an Israeli police statement said.

According to Assaf, an organization that assists refugees, approximately 25,500 Eritrean asylum seekers currently reside in Israel.

Eritreans who fled to Israel via its border with Egypt argue that they would encounter persecution if they were sent back to Eritrea. Eritrea enforces exit permits for its citizens and imposes a compulsory military conscription.

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