Israeli law enforcement officials have arrested more than 750 people this week as the nation grapples with violent racially motivated riots from Arab mobs, which have sparked counter reactions, while also combatting terrorist attacks from Palestinian terrorist groups.
“So far, more than 750 rioters have been arrested since the beginning of the violence, and more than 400 have had their remand extended,” The Jerusalem Post reported. “Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday evening that the declaration of the civil emergency in Lod will be extended another 48 hours, making it possible to allocate rescue forces under police command, allot further access to required equipment and the restriction of movement on residents of the city.”
The Israeli city of Lod has repeatedly faced rioting and arson from extremists, including multiple synagogues being set on fire. The JPost report outlined numerous attacks that have happened against Jews during the riots.
“In Lod, a central city with Jewish and Arab populations that has become an epicenter of the ethnic violence gripping the country, a Jewish paramedic was lightly wounded after being shot,” The Times of Israel reported. “Arab rioters also torched a synagogue, the fifth in the city to be set alight in the recent violence.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin slammed the extremists in a statement, saying, “the sight of the pogrom in Lod and the disturbances across the country by an incited and bloodthirsty Arab mob… is unforgivable.”
“The silence of the Arab leadership about these disturbances is shameful, giving support to terrorism and rioting and encouraging the rupture of the society in which we live and in which we will continue to live once all this has passed,” Rivlin said. “The Israeli government must pursue the rioters with a firm hand to restore security and order while fighting terrorism from Gaza without compromise.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that Israel was “using all our strength to protect the country from enemies on the outside and rioters on the inside.”
“Regarding the riots we saw, unfortunately, in mixed cities: First of all, this is intolerable. It reminds us of scenes from our people’s past and we cannot accept that, definitely not in our country,” Netanyahu said. “We will restore law and order with an iron fist.”
Lod Mayor Yair Revivo compared the acts of terrorism in Lod to Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, in 1938 when Nazis in Germany killed nearly 100 Jews and torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools, and businesses.
“This is Kristallnacht in Lod,” Revivo said on Channel 12. “I have called on the prime minister to declare a state of emergency in Lod. To call in the IDF. To impose a curfew. To restore quiet… There is a failure of governance… This is a giant incident — an Intifada of Arab Israelis. All the work we have done here for years [on coexistence] has gone down the drain.”
“All of Israel should know, this is a complete loss of control,” Revivo added, sounding desperate. “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.”