Israel in chaos: 10 Border Police units called up to quell Arab-Jewish violence

Riots have spread across several cities throughout Israel with mixed Arab and Jewish populations.

Medics evacuate an injured man during clashes between Arab and Jews in Acre, northern Israel, May 12, 2021.  (photo credit: RONI OFER/FLASH90)
Medics evacuate an injured man during clashes between Arab and Jews in Acre, northern Israel, May 12, 2021.
(photo credit: RONI OFER/FLASH90)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the emergency call-up of 10 companies of Border Police and for them to deploy throughout the country in an attempt to curb the Arab-Jewish violence and riots that has marred Israel’s streets in recent days.Some 374 people were arrested throughout Israel following intense Jewish-Arab violence and riots that erupted across the country on Wednesday, amid the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.A Jewish citizen in his 30s was in critical condition after he was attacked by a mob of Arab demonstrators near Egged Square in the city of Acre. Police said he was attacked in his car by Arab Israeli protesters armed with sticks and stones.

On Thursday morning, two police cars were set on fire in the Israeli-Arab town of Kafr Kassem. In Acre, a hotel was set on fire, which spread to a nearby building. In Lod, where these riots began, a Jewish man was reportedly stabbed by an Arab Muslim near a mosque.

Magen David Adom staff evacuated him to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya unconscious, in serious condition and suffering from a head injury.

Senior MDA medic Firas Reis said: “We were near the area when we saw the wounded man lying unconscious and suffering from a bleeding head injury. We immediately began life-saving medical treatment that included bandaging and breath support and evacuated him in stable condition for further treatment at the hospital.”Biden: Israel has right to defend itself from Gaza rocket terrorism

In another incident, in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam, Jewish extremists marched down main streets, smashing Arab-owned businesses and attacking passersby. One motorcyclist – identified as an Arab – was grabbed in the middle of the street and beaten on live television. Four of the alleged attackers were arrested while chanting “death to Arabs” and “may your village burn.”

Police seen on the streets of the central Israeli city of Lod, where violence erupted this week between Jews and Arabs. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)Police seen on the streets of the central Israeli city of Lod, where violence erupted this week between Jews and Arabs. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Kan News reported that a Jewish man in his 30s was lynched by protesters who mistook him for an Arab. He was evacuated to the hospital and his condition is classified as serious, but stable.

Bat Yam Mayor Tzvika Brot said of the riots that “the acts were organized by provocateurs who came from outside the city. This is not our way.”Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, one of Israel’s two chief rabbis, appealed for restraint in response to the violence, saying: “We must not be dragged into provocations and inflicting harm on people or property.

“The Torah of Israel grants no license for taking the law into one’s hands and acting violently,” he added.

In Haifa, a 26-year-old man was injured after being run over by a car near the demonstrations in the city. He was evacuated to Rambam Medical Center in the city in light-to-moderate condition. The 20-year-old driver fled the scene, but was apprehended and detained by police.

On Hagiborim Street in Haifa, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a police car, setting fire to the vehicle. No injuries were reported.

Right-wing extremist rioters were also seen in Tiberias and Lod, and more are expected to show up in other cities with a largely mixed Arab and Jewish population.

The Tiberias municipality released a statement condemning the riots, saying that “We ask everyone to stop the practice of unnecessary demonstrations that do not contribute anything. These demonstrations can cause unnecessary harm to people and even be life threatening.
“It’s time to calm down and help the people of the South as much as possible,” the statement added.

Due to the severe violence seen in Lod on Monday and Tuesday, the Border Police established a task force headquarters in the city on Wednesday, with a force of some 500 Border Police personnel, including tactical border police, detectives, investigators and other law enforcement personnel.

Posts on social media by settler activists stated that at least 30 Jewish youths from the Yitzhar region in the Samaria district of the West Bank traveled to Lod on Tuesday night and engaged in clashes with Arab rioters.In the Bedouin town of Hura, rioters set fire to a community police headquarters, Ynet news reported. No injuries or arrests were reported. At the entrance of Rahat, also in the Negev, police arrested five suspects for throwing stones and burning tires along routes 310 and 264.

In Sheikh Jarrah, the flashpoint of Jewish-Arab tensions in Jerusalem, ten people were arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and causing property damage, Ynet also reported. Two ultra-Orthodox men in the east of the neighborhood were also injured.

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in the neck after accidentally entering the city of Tamra early Thursday as well, Ynet news reported.
The man was rescued from a lynching by a local ambulance crew after they noticed the violence. He was later transferred to Rambam Hospital in Haifa.Police were called to Agrippas Street in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda early Thursday after an employee of a nearby establishment sustained a stab wound to his upper body. He is in critical condition, according to medical sources, and was transferred to the hospital for further treatment.

A policeman was injured early Thursday from live fire in the Arab village of Umm al-Fahm amid riots in the town. Rioters also threw Molotov cocktails at policemen standing near the city’s police station.
Upon searching for the perpetrators, police came under fire and a border police officer was moderately wounded.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke late Wednesday on the rioting and attempted lynchings taking place Wednesday in Israeli cities, saying that he intends to return law and order.
In a statement to the media, Netanyahu said that “Nothing justifies lynching Arabs among Jews, and nothing justifies lynching Jews by Arabs. We will not accept this. It is not us to use this violence. We will return the control and governance to the cities of Israel. In all cities, in mixed cities, in Jewish cities – everywhere.”
“Let us unite together to do the task we need to do as citizens of our country: to restore governance, eliminate this anarchy and preserve and restore the security and peace we all deserve,” he said.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi also said at a meeting of the cabinet early Thursday that he opposes using soldiers to restore order in Israeli cities, noting that the military is a “people’s army” and not suitable for civilian unrest, Ynet news reported.
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