Hatikva Councillor: Rage Born from Years of Frustration
Gal Sharabi of the Hatikva neighborhood in south Tel Aviv told Arutz Sheva that the violence that boiled over following a rally to deport illegal immigrants comes after "years of frustration."
"If this demonstration achieved its goal or not, I don't know. We will have to look to the coming days," Sharabi, who represents his neighborhood on the Tel Aviv city council, said. "Today people have no income and no apartments. Illegal aliens have taken over the whole area."
"The Hatikva neighborhood has become a city of illegal immigrants. People are afraid to walk the streets at night," he added.
"We are not racists. In fact, our children learn in schools with children of illegal immigrants. But recently, the violence by illegal aliens has increased.
"They purchase homes at inflated prices because they live ten in a room and have no problem paying. It raises the prices, and our young couples cannot afford an apartment. They open businesses without permits, and take away a lot of jobs.
"But most of the anger comes from the crime and violence," he said.
Sharabi says Wednesday night's rally is the first time he saw real anger burning in the eyes of his constituents.
"It's not racism, but a very bad feeling that you have lost your home," he said. "People who were born here cannot live here anymore."
"What happened after last night's demonstration was not good. We are against violence," he said. "But the government must step in and take responsibility for south Tel Aviv."
"I just hope this doesn't herald a long wave of violence," Sharabi added.
Over 1,000 gathered for a rally in the Hatikva neighborhood to demand the government enforce immigration laws and begin deporting illegal aliens.
After the rally some protesters smashed windows, set garbage cans on fire, and damaged a car that had three illegal aliens in it. No one was hurt in the incident. On Thursday police arrested 12 people on suspicion of attacking the vehicle, and running riot.
However, witnesses say the vast majority of protesters who attended the rally both arrived and departed peacefully.
Nonetheless, Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin – who acknowledged the serious illegal immigration problem Israel faces – called on lawmakers to "guard their words" and instead focus on formulating a practical solution.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday promised deportations would begin “soon.”
Meanwhile, two illegal aliens from Africa were indicted on Thursday for the brutal rape of an Israeli woman in south Tel Aviv over the weekend.