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Anti-African street violence surges in Israel

Ariel Schalit / AP

Israelis chant slogans against African migrants during a protest in Tel Aviv on May 23, 2012. Recent rapes blamed on African migrants have ignited a political and emotional backlash against their ballooning numbers, with Israelis and their leaders stridently and in an alarming new development, violently calling for their expulsion.

Reuters reports — Surging street violence against African migrants in Israel, including a rampage that an Israeli broadcaster dubbed a "pogrom", drew statements of empathy for the rioters as well as censure from the government on Thursday.

Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images

African migrants sleep at a children's playground in Levinsky Park in southern Tel Aviv on May 25, 2012.

Waving Israeli flags and chanting "Deport the Sudanese", residents of a low-income Tel Aviv neighborhood where many of the border-jumpers from Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan live held a march late Wednesday that turned violent.

Israel okays funding to block African migrants

Police said 20 people were arrested for assault and vandalism. Trash cans were set alight, storefront windows were broken and a crowd attacked an African driving through the area, breaking his car's windows. No serious injuries were reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Wednesday's violence, saying there was no room for such action and that the issue must be resolved "responsibly".

Dan Balilty / AP

Israelis gather during a demonstration in support of African migrants on May 24, 2012.

Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images

An African migrant fixes his TV satellite dish in southern Tel Aviv, where thousands of African migrants reside, on May 24, 2012.

Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images

Women pass by an African migrant resting at Levinsky Park in southern Tel Aviv on May 24, 2012.