Arab mobs in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod went on wild rampages overnight Monday “in solidarity” with their Arab brethren in the Gaza Strip, ransacking and torching shuls, desecrating Sifrei Torah, and setting Jewish schools on fire, including a Talmud Torah.
The Arabs, who raised Palestinian and Hamas flags in the course of the riots, also tried to set a police station on fire, attacked the Lod city hall and a museum, and tore down traffic lights and street signs.
The Arab mob also attacked the medical staff at the nearby Assaf HaRofeh Hospital, and some patients had to be evacuated for their safety.
The Arab mobs also threw stones and firebombs at Jewish homes and due to the multiple areas in the city where riots were taking place, police forces couldn’t reach every scene on time. Some Jewish residents whose lives were being threatened opened fire. One Arab was killed and two were wounded.
The resident who opened fire was later arrested by the police. His neighbors said that their lives were in danger and although they called the police dozens of times, they took over an hour to arrive. They initially fired shots in the air but nothing deterred the rioters until they shot at them, they said.
“It’s a sad morning for all of us in Lod,” wrote Lod Mayor Yair Revivo on Tuesday morning. “Seventy years of coexistence were trampled by Arabs rioters in a series of pogroms, destruction, vandalism, destruction of government symbols, shattering windshields, and throwing Molotov cocktails at the new town hall we began using just last week.”
“There was enormous damage to the mosaic museum, in which tens of millions of shekels were invested, the burning of shuls, a Talmud Torah, dozens of vehicles, burning garbage dumps, destroying Israeli flags and, worse than that, lowering the Israeli flag and raising the Palestinian flag, on a night of riots that injured policemen and residents who found themselves besieged.”
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve reached a situation in which a resident feels his life is at risk and uses firearms in the absence of a speedy response from the security forces who couldn’t manage to arrive due to the multiple incidents,” Revivo wrote.
Arab riots and pogroms also took place in the neighboring town of Ramle, where rioters shattered store windows and set fires and threw cement blocks and rocks at a Hesder Yeshiva while the students were in the building. The yeshivah’s Rosh Yeshivah said he called the police when the incident began but they didn’t arrive.
Below is a photo of a Tashmishei Kedushash store in Ramle with its windowfront shattered, the only store on the street that was damaged, due to its Jewish symbols in the window.
Arab riots also took place in Haifa and outside Arab towns and villages throughout the country. Israel Police recruited eight reserve Border Police battalions to help restore order.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)