Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said African migrants constitute a “real threat” to Israel’s character and future as a Jewish state.
His remarks came one day after at least 140 Eritrean asylum seekers were injured in clashes between supporters and opponents of their country’s regime in Tel Aviv on Saturday.
Netanyahu called for the deportation of illegal migrants involved in Saturday’s clashes in Tel Aviv.
The Israeli premier said he tasked a ministerial committee with taking “strong steps against rioters, including immediate deportation of those who took part.”
He considered Saturday’s riots by Eritrean asylum seekers as “a rampage we cannot accept.”
Videos posted to social media showed street battles between police and protesters, as well as between opposing groups of Eritrean nationals.
Eritreans make up the majority of African asylum seekers in Israel, estimated at more than 30,000, according to Israeli estimates.
Past years saw clashes between Eritrean opponents and supporters of their country’s regime in Israel.