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Hundreds of ethnic Ethiopian Israelis clash with police in Tel Aviv

Sunday, May 03, 2015 - 01:10

Israeli police clash with hundreds of ethnic Ethiopian citizens demonstrating against what they say is police brutality, in one of the most violent protests in memory in the heart of Tel Aviv. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Israeli riot police charged at hundreds of ethnic Ethiopian citizens and fired stun grenades on Sunday (May 3) to try to clear one of the most violent protests in memory in the heart of Tel Aviv. The protesters, Israeli Jews of Ethiopian origin, were demonstrating against what they say is police racism and brutality after the emergence last week of a video clip that showed policemen shoving and punching a black soldier. Demonstrators overturned a police car and threw bottles and stones at officers in riot gear at Rabin Square in the heart of Israel's commercial capital. At least 20 officers were injured and a number of protesters were arrested, police said. Israel's Channel 2 television said tear gas was also used, something the police declined to confirm. Earlier, demonstrators brought evening rush hour traffic to a standstill for over an hour by blocking one of the city's main highways. There was no immediate sign of demonstrators dispersing and some protest organizers told Israeli media that sections of the crowd had been incited to violence. Tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in dramatic, top-secret operations in the 1980s and 1990s after a rabbinical ruling that they were direct descendants of the biblical Jewish Dan tribe. The community, which now numbers around 135,500 out of Israel's population of over 8 million, has long complained of discrimination, racism and poverty. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, taking time out from the final days of negotiations to form a coalition government, said he would meet Ethiopian activists and the soldier on Monday.

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Hundreds of ethnic Ethiopian Israelis clash with police in Tel Aviv

Sunday, May 03, 2015 - 01:10