Sunday, June 2, 2024

UN concerned about clashes at Eritrean protests in Israel


Alarming Number of Injuries During Clashes Involving Eritrean Protesters in Israel

Trouble erupted in Israel on Saturday when a demonstration against an Eritrean government event turned violent, resulting in nearly 140 people being injured, including a dozen Eritrean asylum seekers who were hit by Israeli police gunfire. The United Nations’ rights chief, Volker Turk, expressed his concern over the high number of injuries during these clashes.

Investigations and Avoidance of Hate Speech

Volker Turk took to social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to express his alarm at the situation. He emphasized the importance of conducting thorough investigations into the clashes and avoiding hate speech, especially by authorities. Additionally, he stressed the need for the principle of non-refoulement to be fully respected. Non-refoulement is a fundamental principle of international law that prohibits the forced return of individuals to a country where they may face persecution or harm.

Clashes at Pro-Regime Event

The clashes began outside a venue in south Tel Aviv that was set to host a pro-regime event organized by the Eritrean embassy in Israel. Hundreds of anti-government Eritreans gathered to prevent the event from taking place. Israeli police declared their gathering an illegal demonstration and ordered the street to be emptied. However, the situation escalated as demonstrators clashed with police, leading to the use of live fire by the authorities. Israeli police reported that at least 49 of their personnel were wounded during the clashes.

Confrontations Between Supporters and Opponents

Apart from the clashes between police and Eritrean demonstrators at the event site, there were also confrontations between supporters and opponents of Eritrea’s government elsewhere in Tel Aviv. These additional clashes further added to the tense atmosphere in the city.

Deportation Considerations

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that Israel was contemplating deporting 1,000 Eritreans who took part in the “riots” in Tel Aviv over the weekend. The government’s consideration of deportation comes as a response to the violent protests. As of June, there are approximately 17,850 Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel.

The Need for Resolution and Peaceful Dialogue

The recent clashes in Israel involving Eritrean protesters highlight the need for a peaceful resolution and open dialogue between all parties involved. It is crucial for investigations to take place to determine the causes and consequences of the violence. Authorities should refrain from engaging in hate speech and ensure that the principle of non-refoulement is upheld.

Promoting Understanding and Tolerance

In order to prevent future clashes and promote understanding among different communities, it is essential for authorities to foster an environment of tolerance and respect. This can be achieved through educational initiatives, community engagement, and promoting dialogue between different groups. By addressing the underlying issues and grievances, it is possible to create a more harmonious society where diverse perspectives are valued.


The recent clashes in Israel involving Eritrean protesters have raised concerns among international organizations, including the United Nations. The high number of injuries during these clashes emphasizes the need for investigations, avoidance of hate speech, and respect for the principle of non-refoulement. It is crucial for all parties involved to engage in peaceful dialogue and work towards a resolution that promotes understanding and tolerance. By addressing the underlying issues and fostering an environment of respect, it is possible to prevent future clashes and create a more inclusive society.

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