“This is Kristallnacht in Lod,” Yair Revivo told the Times of Israel on Tuesday evening, referring to the notorious 1938 pogrom against Jews in Nazi Germany, and adding, “there’s been nothing like this in the history of Israel.”
Lod is a historic city about 15 kilometers southwest of Tel Aviv. About a third of its population is made up of Israeli Arabs. On Tuesday, as Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups fired rockets at Israel from Gaza and the Israeli military bombed the strip, Led descended into riots and violence.
“Every minute, a car or a synagogue or a school is going up in flames… Our new city hall was broken into and set alight,” Revivo told the outlet. “Synagogues are being burned. Hundreds of cars set alight. Hundreds of Arab thugs are roaming the streets… Civil war has erupted in Lod.”
There were reports of riots in other Israeli cities, however – from nearby Ramle to Acre, Haifa and Nazareth in the north.
All of these places have been part of Israel since it declared independence in 1948 – unlike the West Bank and Gaza, which had been annexed by Jordan and Egypt, respectively, and came under Israeli control after the 1967 war.
The declaration of emergency in Lod is significant, because it is the first time Tel Aviv has invoked these powers against an Israeli Arab community since the military administration over them was lifted in 1966.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which deny Israel the right to exist in any borders, launched rockets on Monday after clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters outside the Al Aqsa mosque, on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The protests were over a decision by an Israeli judge to evict several Palestinian families from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in favor of Israeli settlers.
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