Hundreds of members of the Israeli Ethiopian community protested in Tel Aviv on Sunday afternoon against police brutality and discrimination. The demonstration was a continuation of similar protests that started last week in Jerusalem.
“Not black, not white, we’re all human,” the demonstrators chanted as they marched from the Azrieli Towers to the government complex in the city.
The protest shut down the Ayalon Highway in both directions, as well as the Kaplan-Begin junction and other major traffic arteries in the city.
By and large, the demonstration was peaceful – but clashes broke out between police and protesters near Azrieli Towers, prompting police to call for back-up.
The deputy commander of Tel Aviv district police, Brig.-Gen. Yoram Ohayon, told Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot that professional agitators were “inciting members of the community to keep protesting after the police already reached understandings with them.”
Those instigators were seen egging on the protesters, crossing their hands over the heads as if they were in handcuffs. “A violent cop should be jailed,” they shouted.
The U.S. Embassy, located in Tel Aviv, had issued a message warning citizens in Israel to beware of the demonstration.
On Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with representatives of the community, along with representatives of the ministries of interior, absorption, public security and social services.