Tel Aviv: Hundreds of Protestors Block Traffic on Begin Highway

At least 200 Ethiopian Israelis have begun protesting in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, at times clashing with police. 

Earlier Wednesday, the Tel Aviv police noted to the Israeli press that they were preparing for violence, after organizers took to social media to call on protestors to "make the situation get out of hand." 

In at least one instance, they appear to have succeeded; according to Yediot Aharonot, several minutes ago, a handful of protestors flooded the northbound Begin highway from the city and are attempting to stop traffic. Police have responded by blocking all traffic leaving Tel Aviv on the Begin highway exit. 

Protesters are reportedly holding up signs saying, "Don't reward racism!".

Ethiopian protesters in Tel Aviv, 3.6.2015 Flash90

Several protesters began a confrontation with police officers, and three were detained after they allegedly attempted to block a road in the area, Walla! News reports.

Police pre-emptively blocked traffic on the Ayalon highway, northbound side, but opened the exit shortly after it was closed. 

According to police, dozens of detectives and investigators from the Tel Aviv Central District are in the city to aid police forces monitoring the demonstrations.

The commander of the Tel Aviv District Police, Commander Benzti Sau, has now (9:20 pm) told Border Police and special forces at the scene to evict the protesters from the site by force, after multiple disruptions and traffic grinding to a halt on both highways. 

Riot police equipped with helmets and batons, as well as riot gear, have surrounded the demonstrators in order to push them back to the sidewalk and off the main roads. 

Two Israel Police officers brutally beat Ethiopian soldier Damas Pakada in Holon earlier this month, sparking a series of mass protests in major Israeli cities. 

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196250

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