Israel admits 'mistakes' in regard to Ethiopian community

A protester, who is an Israeli Jews of Ethiopian origin, shouts at a policeman during a demonstration against what they say is police racism and brutality. (Reuters)

President Reuven Rivlin admitted on Monday that Israel had made mistakes in its treatment of the Ethiopian Jewish community, describing their suffering as "an open wound".

"We have made mistakes. We did not look, we did not listen enough," he said in a statement after thousands of Ethiopian Israelis took to the streets over allegations of police brutality.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to meet Ethiopian community representatives on Monday in an attempt to ease tensions after police fired stun grenades and used water cannon an pepper spray to disperse a crowd of protesters in Tel Aviv.

Police said Monday that 43 demonstrators had been arrested following the protest on Sunday.

Rivlin said that the protesters had "revealed an open and raw wound at the heart of Israeli society".

Ethiopian Israelis claim their community, which numbers more than 135,000, has long suffered from widespread discrimination.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44