After Eritreans Riot, Netanyahu Wants Immediate Deportations

Israeli prime minister calls for removing 'illegal infiltrators'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2023 3:45 PM CDT
After Eritreans Riot, Netanyahu Wants Immediate Deportations
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media Sunday after a meeting with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia, Cyprus.   (Iakovos Hatzistavrou Pool via AP)

Saying "a red line" had been crossed in a violent riot in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a move Sunday toward deporting all immigrants who aren't authorized to be in Israel. About 170 people were injured in clashes with police and fighting between supporters and opponents of the Eritrean regime on Saturday. The government said almost 50 officers were hurt. "We want harsh measures against the rioters," Netanyahu said, per the BBC. He told a group of ministers to develop a new plan to remove all African migrants he described as "illegal infiltrators."

The prime minister renewed the debate over the thousands who have arrived in Israel in the past two decades, most of them Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers. Some leaders have supported expulsion in the past, expressing concern that more immigrants otherwise could be encouraged to go to Israel, cutting into its Jewish majority. Others have argued that a nation founded by refugees should support people fleeing hardship and oppressive governments in other countries, including Eritrea, per the New York Times. Netanyahu, who has proposed divisive changes to Israeli's judiciary, blames the Supreme Court for blocking previous attempts to remove migrants. (More Israel stories.)

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