Dozens injured in clashes between Eritrean asylum seekers and Israeli police

The clashes between Eritrean asylum seekers and Israeli police in Tel Aviv have resulted in dozens of injuries, including some from live gunfire. The unrest was sparked by opposition activists requesting Israeli authorities to cancel an embassy event. However, the clashes also involved supporters of the Eritrean regime. These divisions within the Eritrean diaspora reflect the ongoing conflict over the rule of President Isaias Afwerki. The demonstrators initially faced police barricades but eventually broke through, leading to violent confrontations with the police. Streets in central Tel Aviv became chaotic as police helicopters flew overhead and shots were fired into the air. Protesters clashed with officers, vandalized vehicles, and damaged nearby businesses. Israeli police claimed that they used guns to protect their lives. Cranias from inside the venue designated for the event showed overturned tables and chairs after demonstrators stormed in. Social media videos depicted street battles between pro and anti-regime Eritreans, with the police attempting to separate the two sides. The police issued a request on social media for uninvolved individuals to avoid the scene. The police had announced that different Eritrean factions would protest in separate locations, but they failed to abide by these arrangements. Hundreds of officers have since been deployed in the area. As of mid-afternoon, 114 wounded people had been treated, including 30 police officers. Previous incidents have demonstrated violence among different factions of Eritrean asylum seekers, highlighting the challenges faced by this community in Israel. Despite facing danger and persecution in Eritrea, the Israeli authorities have not differentiated between asylum seekers based on their political affiliations. The clashes in Tel Aviv mirror similar incidents occurring at Eritrean festivals held in other countries, such as Canada and Germany.