Hundreds of Tel-Aviv residents on Tuesday protested against African infiltrators under the banner "Enough with fear in the neighborhoods; send the infiltrators back home."
The protesters, who claimed they have been forsaken by the government, marched from the southern neighborhood of Kiryat Shalom to the market area in Hatikva neighborhood while calling out "Bibi go home."
The participants said they were not demonstrating against the infiltrators, but against the government. Some carried signs reading, "Lieberman, where are you when we need you?" and "This is not a racist country, this is a survival war, Eli Yishai – we are with you."
Shortly before the event, clashes broke out between the protesters and a group that demonstrated against them. The two groups exchanged blows and tore each others' signs. No injuries were reported.
'Protesting against government, not infiltrators' (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Tel Aviv Councilman and Chairman of Hatikva neighborhood Council Shlomo Maslawi called to transfer the infiltrators to "Raanana, Tzahala and to kibbutzim."
The councilman noted that the next demonstration will be held in front of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's residence at the Akirov Towers in north Tel Aviv, and the one after that outside the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem.
According to the residents, the infiltrators were raising the level of violence in the city's southern neighborhoods.
'War of survival' (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Tel Aviv Councilman Arnon Giladi, from the Likud faction, called to deport the infiltrators to Egypt. "Let them go back and work in Egypt," he said.
"This is a national disaster, it's an invasion and even if the fence is built, what will we do with those who are already here," lamented Tzvi Galboim of Ashdod.
The protest was attended by members of Knesset from several parties – not only of the right-wing. "I am here so that the radical voices are not the only ones heard," said MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima).
"All large parties need to battle together against this phenomenon and those who call us racists," he said, adding, "This is not the battle of radicals or racists. This is the battle of people who want to secure a Jewish state for all its citizens."
MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) said he couldn't recognize Hatikva neighborhood, where he was raised.
"We've become the strangers in our neighborhood; it is not only our problem, but a problem that is affecting the whole country," he claimed.
"These are not asylum seekers, but foreign invaders. They burned down Shapira neighborhood and we will not let them do the same here," he added.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said in response, "The residents' protest is justified and understandable, but I condemn any attempt of radical elements to exploit the situation and create provocations."
Huldai called on the government to "set a clear immigration policy that will prevent infiltrations at the border and regulate the treatment of all infiltrators that are currently in Israel."
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