The Israeli town of Lod, near Tel Aviv, was placed in a state of emergency on Tuesday (11) amid major street clashes between Arabs and Israeli Jews. Mayor Yair Revivo called for help from the military and said the site was on the brink of civil war.
Tensions after the second night, followed by airstrikes in Israel and Gaza, the region’s worst level of violence in years, led to an increase in pro-Palestinian protests among the country’s 21 percent Arab minority – the Israelis for citizenship, but Palestinians. through heritage and culture.
“Synagogues are set on fire. Hundreds of cars are set on fire. Hundreds of Arab criminals roam the streets. Civil war has broken out in Lod,” the mayor wrote. “The Orthodox nationalist community has weapons. I beg you to come home, but they naturally want to protect their homes. Molotov cocktails are thrown at Jewish homes. It’s Crystal Night in Lod,” Revivo added, referring to at the Nazi attack on German Jews in 1938.
The city has been placed in a state of emergency and the central government has sent military personnel to contain the violence. They will control access to the region and may order a lockdown. Lod has about 75,000 inhabitants and is located on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. It is home to Ben Gurion Airport, the country’s main airport.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the city on Tuesday evening and said he would not tolerate the situation. “If it’s not an emergency, I don’t know what it is. We’re talking about life and death here.”
According to the Jerusalem Post, commenting on the Lod scenes, Israeli police chief Kobi Shabtai said such violence had not been observed since October 2000, when the second Intifada took place.
Lod had already been the scene of conflicts on Monday evening (10). About 200 Arab Israelis demonstrated in solidarity with Palestinians in East Jerusalem and Gaza, and tensions rose after some of the protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police and buildings, as well as dumps. and burnt tires. Sixteen activists were arrested in the city.
One resident, Musa Hassuna, 33, was shot dead amid clashes with security forces, and his funeral drew a crowd. On Tuesday, witnesses cited by Israeli media said that one or two armed Jews shot at Arabs, killing one and wounding two. In addition to the clashes, a missile hit the home of an Arab family in Lod – a woman and a child died.
The new phase of hostilities between Israel and the Islamic group Hamas was sparked by clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which began on Friday (7). At the heart of the conflict are freedom of worship in parts of the Old City – which Palestinians say is hampered – and a court ruling that provides for the forced eviction of Palestinian families from a disputed area of Jerusalem.
On Tuesday, Israel sent 80 planes to bomb the Gaza area and tanks concentrated at the border, while in retaliation, Hamas fired 130 rockets at Tel Aviv, Israel’s second largest city and economic capital. The radical faction, which controls Gaza and is considered a terrorist by Israel, the United States and the European Union, said the actions were a response to the Israeli government attack that brought down a 13-story building in Gaza housing an office used by the group’s political leadership.
According to Gaza’s health ministry, at least 35 Palestinians died, including 10 children, and 152 were injured. Israel disputes the Gaza authorities’ reports of the casualties, taking only responsibility for the deaths of 15 Hamas fighters. On the Israeli side, five deaths were recorded, in the worst exchange of airstrikes in years in the region.