Police fired stun grenades to disperse a rally by Ethiopian Israelis demonstrating in central Tel Aviv against alleged police brutality and widespread discrimination.

Some of the demonstrators hurled stones, bottles and chairs from nearby restaurants after attempting to storm the Tel Aviv municipality building.

Mounted police used riot stun grenades and water cannon as well as pepper spray to disperse the crowd and clear nearby streets, but the protesters kept returning.

Emergency medical services said 23 officers and seven demonstrators were injured in the clashes.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said a number of protestors were arrested.

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said dispersing the "riot" was difficult since it had no clear leadership.

There is nobody to talk to," he told reporters.

Today's protest came three days after a stormy demonstration in Jerusalem sparked by footage showing two policemen beating a uniformed Israeli soldier of Ethiopian origin.

Scores of other Israelis also joined today's rally, chanting and holding up signs reading: "A violent policeman must be put in prison" and "We demand equal rights".

As they marched through Tel Aviv, some held their arms up in the air, wrists crossed as if handcuffed.

Demonstrators earlier blocked the Ayalon expressway during rush-hour, causing huge traffic jams on one of Israel's central highways before police forcefully evacuated them.

As the rally began, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement saying that he would meet Damas Pakada, the soldier who was beaten, as well as other representatives of the Ethiopian community tomorrow.

Police pledged a crackdown on those members of the force who have used violence against the Ethiopian community after the video footage went public.

More than 135,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, having immigrated in two waves in 1984 and 1991.

But they have struggled to integrate into Israeli society, despite massive government aid.