News in Brief

Twelve hurt as pro- and anti-government Eritreans brawl in Israel; Pixies, Soundgarden to perform in Israel.

Twelve hurt as pro- and anti-government Eritreans brawl in Israel

Twelve people were injured and 50 arrested in a brawl between supporters and opponents of the Eritrean government Saturday at a kibbutz in the north of the country. The Eritrean ambassador took part in the conference where the melee took place but was not hurt. On Saturday at around 3 P.M., some 500 Eritreans arrived at Kibbutz Kinneret’s main hall. They had been touring the north and were scheduled to meet with the ambassador. Soon after the conference began, antigovernment Eritreans broke into the hall carrying metal bars, wooden planks and rocks, said a kibbutz member. Police were called in from the Tiberias police station along with riot police. The ambassador was rescued unharmed. (Eli Ashkenazi)

Pixies, Soundgarden to perform in Israel

Bloomfield Stadium will host a new international music festival next June that will feature the first appearances in Israel of the Pixies and of Soundgarten, two 1990s bands that are very popular among Israelis. The festival, produced by Shuki Weiss, has yet to be named. Weiss stated that bringing the two bands to Israel is a dream come true. He promised that further details about the festival will be released early next month, but said that the festival, which will take place on June 17 and 18, will include nightly joint performances by local and international bands. The Pixies were supposed to preform in Israel in 2010, but their concert was cancelled in the last minute in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident. At the time, the Pixies issued a statement saying that the decision was not taken lightly and that “We’d like to extend our deepest apologies to the fans.” Tickets for the festival will go on sale starting Sunday, priced at 275 shekels ($78) apiece, a discount price for early purchasers. (Moshe Kutner)

Arrests in torching of mayor’s car

Three men were arrested Sunday in the torching of a car belonging to the head of the Be’er Yakov Regional Council, Nissim Gozlan. The vehicle was damaged but no one was injured. The arrests were made just a few hours after the damage to the car was discovered, early Sunday morning. One man was released after proving he was not involved in the incident. The other two were ordered to remain in custody. According to an Israel Police report for 2012, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz, 43 percent of Israeli mayors have received threats, and a number have had grenades thrown at their homes. (Gili Cohen)

Cabinet backs day off for local elections

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday backed a bill that would make voting day for local government a state holiday, like Election Day for the Knesset. The bill was submitted by Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, in response to the low voter turnout in the last election. Only 51.1 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots on October 22, compared to 67.8 percent in January’s Knesset election. Turnout was especially low in the larger cities, at just 31.3 percent in Tel Aviv and 35.9 percent in Jerusalem. (Jonathan Lis)