The ongoing conflict between Palestinian supporters and Israel has shaped into a war-like situation with many cities of Israel facing constant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.
In a recent update, an intense riot has hit the central-Israel city of Lod, with three synagogues set on fire by the Israeli Arab Muslims. The rioters even attacked the local shops and parked cars setting them all ablaze. The Israeli government has now declared a state of emergency in the mixed Jewish-Arab city and has dispatched several Border Police companies to work to restore law and order.
As per a news channel, some residents reported power cuts in their homes after which petrol bombs were hurled through the windows. A 56 year-old local man sustained serious injuries after being hit by a slab in his car. The police officials confirmed having escorted some residents from a community center to their homes as the Arabs lashed out on the streets of the city.
Not just the residential areas, but even the City Hall and local museums were under attack. The Mayor of the city has compared the growing unrest to the Nazis’ 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom (also called Night of Broken Glass when Nazis attacked Jewish population and properties).
“This is unthinkable. Synagogues are being burned. Hundreds of cars set alight. Hundreds of Arab thugs are roaming the streets… Civil war has erupted in Lod… The Orthodox-nationalist community here has guns. I’m imploring them to go back home but they understandably want to protect their homes. Petrol bombs are being thrown into (Jewish) homes. The situation is incendiary,” said Mayor Revivo in an interview to a local channel.
Emergency imposed in Lod
The Mayor had to appeal to the Prime Minister for urgent help after which an emergency was imposed after several decades to bring the situation under control.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu directed that lawbreakers be dealt with severely and that units on the ground be reinforced in order to restore quiet and order to the city forthwith,” said a government official in a statement.
The National Police Commissioner of the city too called the situation unprecedented. “We are seeing a situation in the mixed (Jewish-Arab) cities that we have never seen before, including the incidents of October 2000,” Kobi Shabtai the commissioner said.
Meanwhile, around 130 rockets have been fired by Hamas at central Israel, with “victory” being claimed by its leader Ismail Haniyeh who says this was “the battle for Jerusalem.”
Visuals from the city
Several media networks as well as the locals took to Twitter to share the gruesome visuals coming out from the city of Lod.
Kan News shared visuals of a restaurant in the old city that was set on fire.
Yedioth Ahronoth an Israeli national daily newspaper shared videos of parked cars set ablaze in the city of Lod.
פרעות בערים המעורבות: בתי כנסת הוצתו בלוד, מג”ב בדרך אל העיר > מהומות ברמלה, לוד, רהט pic.twitter.com/WrpMWbdTSx— ידיעות אחרונות (@YediotAhronot) May 11, 2021
A local shared visuals of Arab rioters marauding the streets of the city setting everything on fire.
לוד מאבדת שליטה pic.twitter.com/DznEpQJN9W— Roie Simhi 🇮🇱 רועי שמחי (@RoieSimhi) May 11, 2021
Another resident saying “situation in Lod is out of control” shared spine chilling videos of an Arab rioter shooting at Israeli police with an automatic weapon.
President Reuven Rivlin had urged Arab Israeli leaders to speak out against the outbursts of violence and restore peace, however, no appeal seems to be working at the moment.
Violence in Israel
Tensions in Jerusalem escalated in recent weeks as Palestinians protested the restrictions imposed by Israel on access to access parts of the Old City during the holy month of Ramzan.
The Palestinians are also vehemently opposing an order by the authorities which has asked several Palestinian families to vacate their homes and make way for Israeli settlers. Recent incidents of stone-pelting and attacks on police personnel near the Al-Aqsa Mosque had further aggravated the situation.