Ethiopian Israeli Protests Turn Violent, Multiple Injuries, Arrests

Dozens of police hurt, 60 arrested as Ethiopian Israeli protests turn violent Police said some 47 officers were injured on Tuesday in nationwide protests by Israel’s Ethiopian community, as a show of anger over the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager by an off-duty cop earlier this week took an increasingly violent turn. The Israel Police said 60 demonstrators were arrested across the country over the disturbances. It did not offer a tally on protester injuries. One demonstrator was moderately injured in a hit-and-run on Tuesday evening, medics said. The rallies devolved into riots in some areas, leaving dozens hurt and at least four cars damaged, as some 50,000 commuters remained stuck in traffic for hours in the turmoil gripping the country. In Tel Aviv, a car was set on fire. The throngs of protesters closed down at least 12 critical junctions across the country. Nineteen-year-old Solomon Tekah was shot dead during an altercation in the Kiryat Haim neighborhood of Haifa on Sunday. An eyewitness to the shooting has reportedly told the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department that, contrary to the officer’s claims, he did not appear to have been in danger when he opened fire. The officer was briefly arrested before being released to house arrest, sparking rage in the community. Rush-hour traffic was brought to a standstill Tuesday on several major Israeli thoroughfares as protests were staged nationwide, hours after Tekah was buried at the Tel Regev Cemetery near Haifa. The dramatic scenes included acts of vandalism and violence. Footage captured in the center of Tel Aviv saw a demonstrator leap onto a moving car and proceed to smash its windshield. Hours later, the car was set on fire. Erdan vows to stop ‘anarchy’ as police disperse Ethiopian Israeli protestsInternal Security Minister Gilad Erdan vowed early Wednesday to prevent “anarchy” as police put an end to day-long protests by Ethiopian Israelis that frequently turned violent and blocked key junctions across the country for hours in a display of anger over the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager by an off-duty cop earlier this week. Just before midnight Tuesday, police in riot gear moved in to clear the junctions after letting protesters block them for much of the day. In Tel Aviv, they used stun grenades and mounted officers to open the main Ayalon highway. In the northern town of Afula, an officer was forced to fire into the air after being hit by stones and falling to the ground. In all, police said some 47 officers were injured on Tuesday and at least 60 demonstrators were arrested across the country over the disturbances. It did not offer a tally on protester injuries. One demonstrator was moderately injured in a hit-and-run on Tuesday evening, medics said. Speaking after meeting police chiefs to take stock of the situation shortly after midnight, Erdan said he supported the right of people to protest but would not tolerate violence and anarchy. “The Israel Police made every effort and did all possible to allow the protesters to express their pain and put across their message,” said Erdan. “Forces acted with restraint and tried to avoid violent clashes that would lead to further bloodshed.” “We will continue to protect the rights of protesters to demonstrate, but we will not tolerate anarchy and we will not tolerate serious disruptions to public life,” he said, adding that police would also work to prevent harm to people or serious destruction of property.”

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