As the Israeli Army and Palestinian fighters in Gaza trade deadly airstrikes and rocket bombardments, riots and violent clashes between Arab and Jewish citizens also shake several Israeli cities.
In Bat Yam, south of Jaffa, a video on Wednesday night showed a right-wing Jewish crowd attempting to lynch an Arab motorist.
Police said they removed the man from his car before the attack began. The video shows about 20 people hitting him with metal objects and repeatedly kicking him in the head. He was taken to hospital, where police described his injuries as moderate.
In Acre, north of Haifa, a lynching attempt by an Arab mob left a Jew seriously injured, according to Israeli police. A police spokesman said the group attacked police officers before attacking the victim with stones and iron bars.
Violence in various cities in Israel
«We are very, very concerned about this upsurge [de la violencia]”Israeli legislator Aida Touma-Suleiman, in Acre, told Citizen Free Press’s Hala Gorani in a live interview late Wednesday afternoon local time.
«I am locked in my house, it is happening in front of my house, and there is no way out. Tear gas fills the houses, and the situation is unsafe. Today there have been attacks on Arab citizens in different cities, ”he said.
I’m very, very worried about this city [Acre]. The same is true in Haifa. The same is true in Lod. There are different attacks against different citizens ”, he pointed out.
The Arab-Israeli lawmaker added: “I’m not sure the police can or want to control the situation.”
Netanyahu on lynchings
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called the violence in Israeli cities “unacceptable” and said he ordered the police to adopt emergency powers, to be reinforced with Border Police units and to impose curfews. when necessary.
“Nothing justifies the lynching of Jews by Arabs and nothing justifies lynching of Arabs by Jews,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“I tell the citizens of Israel that I don’t care if their blood boils. They cannot take justice into their own hand, “added the prime minister. “You can’t just grab an ordinary Arab citizen and try to lynch him, just like we can’t see Arab citizens do this to Jewish citizens.”
Victims so far
Fighters in Gaza have fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel since the loudest outbreak of violence began Monday afternoon, and Israel has responded with devastating airstrikes in Gaza.
Israel’s bombing offensive in Gaza has so far resulted in at least 83 Palestinians killed, including 17 children and seven women, the Gaza-based Palestinian Ministry of Health reported Thursday. In addition to this, the injured Palestinians amount to at least 487, according to the agency.
On the other hand, seven Israelis have been killed and more than 200 wounded since Monday, the Israeli Army reported on Wednesday. A six-year-old boy was killed on Wednesday when a rocket fired from Gaza hit a residential building in Sderot, according to a member of emergency personnel.
Decades of coexistence “crushed”
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians – fueled by controversy over evictions of Palestinian families in Jerusalem and restrictions on a popular East Jerusalem meeting point at the start of Ramadan – spilled over this week and quickly turned into one of the worst waves of violence. violence between both parties in recent years.
“We are escalating into a full-scale war. Leaders of all parties must take responsibility for the decline [de la violencia]”Said the United Nations (UN) special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, on Wednesday.
Anger over the current situation fuels fierce protests in the central Israeli city of Lod, where Israeli police reported Wednesday that people were throwing stones at passing cars and blocking roads until early morning.
Lod Mayor Yair Revivo said decades of coexistence had been “crushed.”
He said that the Arab-Israeli rioters “burned synagogues, the Talmud Torah, dozens of vehicles, garbage containers, destroyed Israeli flags and, what is worse, took down the Israeli flag and raised the Palestinian flag, in a night of riots in which police and residents were injured.
For his part, an Arab-Israeli resident of Lod, Wael Essawi, told Citizen Free Press that Israeli police and Jewish residents attacked a mosque during prayers on Tuesday night, before tear gas was fired and cars were set on fire.
“We couldn’t do anything, but we opened the windows so we could breathe. It was very intense, ”said Essawi.
Another resident, Khaled Zabarqah, said that following a Palestinian demonstration Monday against Israeli policies in Jerusalem, thousands of people were attacked with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets before the Israelis began throwing stones already. hit the group.
“My 15-year-old daughter was awakened by the sound of stones thrown against her bedroom window, then I was awakened by her terrified screams,” Zabarqah said.
“We couldn’t do anything but protect ourselves and defend ourselves with whatever tool we had, or we defend ourselves or they kill us,” he said.
On Tuesday, a 25-year-old Arab-Israeli man was shot dead in the city by a 34-year-old Jew fired at protesters after they attacked him with stones, according to police.
In addition, the police arrested two suspects in connection with another shooting also in Lod.
A Citizen Free Press team, touring the city early Wednesday, saw that some of the roads were lined with stones. Burned cars were also visible on the side of the road after a night of rioting in Lod.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.