Cities Brace for Third Night of Rioting

YERUSHALAYIM -

Despite ongoing efforts by Israeli authorities to quell the disorders in Lod and other cities, violence broke out again on Thursday night.

Israeli police on the streets of riot-torn Lod, Thursday. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Shootings were reported in various neighborhoods in Lod, with victims being taken to hospitals for moderate to serious wounds.

Shots were fired at Jewish homes in Lod on Thursday night, though b’chasdei Shamayim no injuries were reported.

Trees in front of a shul were reportedly set on fire in Lod. Shuls were burned and sifrei Torah desecrated in the first night of rioting in the city.

A Jewish family was set upon by Arab rioters in Umm al-Fahm after entering the city by accident, according to media reports. Police arrived and rescued the couple and three young children, with the help of local civilians. All sustained minor injuries.

A 19-year-old Israeli soldier was seriously injured in Jaffa after being beaten and reportedly shot. He was evacuated to Ichilov Hospital in serious condition from a skull fracture and a cerebral hemorrhage.

In south Tel Aviv, right-wing Jewish extremists attacked journalists from the Kan public broadcaster.

A police officer has reportedly been injured from gunfire by Arab rioters at a junction in Ramle.

In Lod, where rioting has necessitated reinforcements, clashes were already reported despite an 8 p.m. curfew, with rioters seriously injuring an IDF soldier.

In Haifa on Thursday night, police arrested so far 8 persons on suspicion of rock-throwing and disorderly conduct.

First aid being administered to a person injured in the shooting attack in Lod. (Elazar Rieger)

A 19-year-old Israeli soldier was seriously injured in Jaffa after being beaten and reportedly shot. He was evacuated to Ichilov Hospital in serious condition from a skull fracture and a cerebral hemorrhage.

In south Tel Aviv, right-wing Jewish extremists attacked journalists from the Kan public broadcaster.

A police officer has reportedly been injured from gunfire by Arab rioters at a junction in Ramle.

In Lod, where rioting has necessitated reinforcements, clashes were already reported despite an 8 p.m. curfew, with rioters seriously injuring an IDF soldier.

In Haifa on Thursday night, police arrested so far 8 persons on suspicion of rock-throwing and disorderly conduct.

An injured person from the shooting attack in Lod being evacuated to the hospital. (Elazar Rieger)

Faced with persistent violent disorders and numerous cities, Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday ordered a call-up of Border Police reservists to bolster local police departments that appeared to be overwhelmed by the scale of the violence.

Ten companies of reservists from the paramilitary Border Police were to be brought in, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

“We are in a time of emergency,” Gantz said, adding that “at this time a massive response by forces on the ground is needed.”

However, Gantz stressed that no IDF soldiers would be involved in police activities, “which are not part of the IDF’s mission as a people’s army,” and they would not be patrolling the streets.

Gantz held a meeting with the mayors of 30 Arab Israeli municipalities and planned further meetings on Thursday with Arab and Jewish leaders “in order to cool things on the ground, and to stop the incitement and agitation that is tearing Israeli society apart from within.”

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai announced that as of 5 p.m., entry to the Lod is prohibited due to the major riots and Jewish-Arab violence in recent days.

A curfew will be in effect from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. in an attempt to prevent a repeat of previous nights’ scenes of violence.

Residents will be allowed to exit their homes only to receive urgent medical treatment, go to bomb shelters or other vital needs approved by the police.