Hundreds of Ethiopian Israelis take to the streets in Tel Aviv to protest discrimination

Hundreds of members of Israel's Ethiopian community gathered on Rothschild Boulevard in central Tel Aviv on Monday to protest discrimination and racism, marching towards the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and eventually to Rabin Square.

At some point, some protesters began marching towards Ayalon Highway, but police - which said it would not allow any roads to be blocked - kept them away from the freeway. The confrontation led to the brief closure of Shaul Hamelech street.

“We wish to show that things haven’t dissipated – we’re continuing to protest,” one of the demonstration's leaders, Inbar Bugale, told Haaretz earlier Monday, referring to recent protest events by the community elsewhere in the country.

“Nothing has been done for 30 years and we want to show the prime minister that this time we are not giving in," she added. "Even if he commits to doing something, we won’t be quiet until we see results.”

Organizers insist that they are opposed to violence and stress that the demonstration is meant to be peaceful.

“Everything is being done after obtaining a licence. We’re not against the police. We’re against the laws and directives they are given, and we’re opposed to them taking the law into their own hands,” said Bugale.

Two weeks ago, clashes erupted in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square as thousands of people gathered to protest police brutality toward Israeli Jews of Ethiopian descent.

Dozens of people were injured, many of them police officers. Police made 43 arrests. Later, police stated that 56 police officers were lightly wounded in the protest, and one was moderately wounded.

Police fired stun grenades and tear gas while some protesters tried to break into the Tel Aviv City Hall, located at the square. Other protesters hurled rocks, planks and plastic and glass bottles at police.

The protest began near the Kaplan Interchange, where protesters blocked major arteries and junctions, including the Ayalon South freeway and Hashalom Interchange, as well as surrounding streets.