Meeting over protests
Meeting over protestsKobi Gidon, GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for a united front against racism after talks on Monday with leaders of the Ethiopian Jewish community.

"We must stand together as one against the phenomenon of racism, to denounce it and eliminate it," he said in a statement after a three-hour meeting focused on grievances within the community over police brutality and discrimination.

For the past several days, the Ethiopian community has flooded Tel Aviv en masse to protest the beating of Damas Pakada, an Ethiopian Jewish soldier who was brutally assaulted by a police officer in Holon last Sunday. Netanyahu met with Pakada earlier Monday. 

Most of the leaders of the Ethiopian community have been directly involved with the protests.

Also in attendance at the meeting Monday were Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. 

The government is due to form a committee to deal with issues relating to Ethiopian immigration, according to several proposals in that direction over the course of the past year, it was concluded. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) will monitor the implementation of the program and establish a ministerial committee to address Ethiopian sector issues. 

The Israel Police will also conduct an internal investigation to examine claims of discrimination against Ethiopian Jews and work to eradicate the phenomenon.