Tuesday May 29, 201207:33 PM GMT
Violence against African immigrants on rise in Israel
African refugees demand justice during a protest rally in Israel. (File photo)
African refugees demand justice during a protest rally in Israel. (File photo)
Tue May 29, 2012 3:51AM
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Violence against African immigrants to Israel seems to be on the rise in the entity, as hateful headlines against foreign individuals continue to dominate headlines in Israeli media.


Sentiments against African migrants reached their peak on Wednesday after some 1,000 people in southern Tel Aviv staged a violent demonstration against the rising number of Africans moving into the area.

The demonstrators armed with sticks and stones attacked African-run shops and those serving African customers, and smashed up a car with two African men on board. They also shouted racist slogans, including "Blacks out!" and "Infiltrators, get out of our homes."

Witnesses say the rally turned violent after several racist speeches by right-wing members of the Israeli parliament, many of whom were from the ruling Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The infiltrators are a cancer in our body," Likud MP Miri Regev told the crowd, as fellow MP Danny Danon shouted, "The infiltrators must be expelled from Israel! Expulsion now!"

The protesting Israelis claim African immigrants have disrupted their lives by stealing from homes and shops and even taking the laundry left outside to dry. Israeli women claim they are in constant fear of rape by the Africans particularly at nights.

However, it is widely believed that the Israeli government is fueling the mistreatment of and violence against foreigners.

''We must put all these infiltrators behind bars in detention and holding centers, then send them home because they come and take work from Israelis," Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai told the army radio, apparently in reference to illegal African immigrants.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has also described the African immigrants as "illegal infiltrators flooding" Israel and threatening the security of Israel.

It is estimated that up to 60,000 African migrants, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, have entered Israel from its southern border since the collapse of Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt 15 months ago.

HM/HGH/HJL
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