Why Eritrean Migrants Rioted in Tel Aviv, and Why It Matters for Israel

The southern part of Tel Aviv is home to a large population of migrants from Eritrea—many of whom entered Israel illegally. When, on Saturday, the Eritrean embassy in that city held an event celebrating a national holiday, a large crowd of local Eritreans gathered in protest. They were met by a number of their compatriots who support the East African country’s repressive regime, and a violent confrontation ensued. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:

The scene resembled an urban battlefield, according to eyewitness reports. . . .  At least 160 people were injured in consequent clashes between supporters and opponents of the Eritrean government as the regime’s opponents tried for hours to prevent the event from going ahead. Some 50 police officers were wounded in the violence. Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said officers were forced to use stun grenades and live fire when they came under attack. . . . Local businesses were burned and looted, residents were trapped in their homes unable to risk going out, and public property was destroyed.

This was not a spontaneous riot. Both the opponents and the regime supporters were dressed for the protests, wearing blue and red T-shirts, respectively.

Much of the impetus for the government’s proposed [judicial] reform stems from the High Court’s overturning of Knesset laws designed to handle the issue of illegal migrants.

[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is correct in saying that the violence is absolutely unacceptable—and ultimately the blame lies with the protesters themselves.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Israeli Judicial Reform, Israeli politics, Migrants in Israel


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security