The Eritrean community in Israel had made all the preparation and were set to commemorate one of its national holidays on Saturday, September 2nd, as it has been customary for decades now. The administrative permission was duly granted to them by relevant law-enforcement authorities in Israel.
For reasons known to them, the Israeli Police authorities also granted permission to a motley group of hooligans on the same day and at the same venue with the condition that the “protesters” will be confined to an area 500 meters distant from the Public Hall of the Commemoration Event.
The Eritrean community had credible information on the acts of violence and vandalism that this motley group were planning to perpetrate. This vital information was duly conveyed to the Israeli Police authorities.
The brisk response given by the latter was that these were Police matters that should not concern or create anxiety on the Eritrean community members. The Israeli Police instead instructed the Commemoration participants to assemble near the Embassy and travel to the Commemoration Hall in an organized manner.
At about six o’clock on the morning of September 2, the motley group went to the Commemoration Hall armed with batons, knifes and stones. And for the next seven hours until 1:00 p.m., they were embroiled in running skirmishes with the Israeli Police. The mayhem resulted in injuries to the Police and considerable damage to the Commemoration Hall.
The hooligans then marched on to attack the Eritrean community members in the place where they had assembled in accordance with the explicit instructions of the Israeli Police.
The Eritrean community in Israel has an impeccable record – indeed as it is the case elsewhere in the Diaspora – to celebrate their national holidays in vibrant, peaceful and dignified manner.
The recent event in Tel-Aviv and other countries is a new trend that stems from the political agenda of certain external forces. Indeed, many of the sponsors, ring-leaders and activists that pose as “political opponents of the Eritrean Government” are actually non-Eritrean.
These are the true facts. In the event, the distortion of this reality to apportion blame to the Eritrean community in Israel and heap insult and demonization to the Government of Eritrea by certain media outlets and some Israeli officials is irresponsible and unacceptable.
Eritrean Embassy in Israel
4 September 2023