On Sunday, a special ministerial committee convened in Israel to address violent clashes between opposing Eritrean groups in Tel Aviv over the weekend. The committee has approved widespread arrests following the violence.
This approval grants police the authority to use an administrative procedure that allows for detention with a lower evidentiary bar.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his concerns about migration from African countries, stating that he believes it poses a significant threat to Israel’s identity and future as a Jewish and democratic state.
Approximately 30,000 migrants, primarily from Sudan and Eritrea, are estimated to be in Israel, many claiming to be refugees fleeing war and oppression. The majority of African migrants entered Israel through Egypt between 2007 and 2012, before Israel constructed a barrier along the desert border.
Netanyahu called the meeting after more than 170 people were wounded Saturday in clashes between two fractions of Eritreans after police attempted to stop the groups from reaching the Eritrean embassy in Tel Aviv.
Some 50 Eritrean nationals are being held following Saturday’s street fighting, with National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir pushing for more “administrative” arrests, Hebrew media reported widely.
Netanyahu, who chaired the ministerial meeting, said the government is “seeking strong steps against rioters, including immediate deportation of those who took part.”
The ministers also agreed to consider canceling work permits for migrants and to advance a new quasi-constitutional Basic Law on immigration.
Beyond responding to Saturday’s rioters, Netanyahu said at the meeting that he’d convened the forum “to prepare a complete and updated plan to get all the rest of the illegal infiltrators out of Israel.”
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