Police fire tear gas during demo against racism, police brutality in Tel Aviv

Russia Today — May 3, 2015

Security forces have fired pepper spray during a protest against racism and police violence, staged by Jews of Ethiopian descent in Tel Aviv. Up to 10 policemen and one protester have been injured in the clashes.

Protesters tried to break into the City Hall, according to Haaretz, and at least three people have been arrested.

They shouted “not black, not white, we’re all human beings” and “a violent cop should be jailed.”

“Being black, I have to protest today. I never experienced police violence against me personally, but it is aimed at my community which I have to support,” 34-year-old protester Eddie Maconen told AFP.

The demonstration started next to the key city artery Kaplan Interchange, with protesters blocking major junctions and surrounding streets. They also went up to the train station, but were cracked down on by police.

Brigade General Yoram Ohayon, deputy commander of the Tel Aviv police district, accused social activists and organizations of “inciting members of the community to keep protesting after the police has already reached understandings with them,” YNet reported.

The country’s premier, Benjamin Netanyahu, is set to meet the representatives of the Israeli Ethiopian community on Monday.

Police didn’t deploy officers of Ethiopian descent, fearing a conflict of interests that already led to clashes last week during a protest in Jerusalem, Haaretz reported.

More forces could be deployed if needed, security forces stressed.

This is the second such protest in a week: On Thursday, hundreds of demonstrators blocked streets and the Jerusalem Light Rail, and marched on the prime minister’s home.

Thirteen protesters and three policemen were injured in the clashes then, Times of Israel reported.

Over 135,000 Ethiopian Jews are Israeli residents, with most of them having immigrated in two waves, in 1984 and 1991.




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