Police Indict 110 in Recent Ethnic Violence

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli security forces guard the entrance to city of Lod, following a night of heavy rioting by Arab residents last week. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Israeli law enforcement authorities have given a comprehensive accounting of their response to widespread civil disorders in recent days.

The Justice Ministry cited approximately 110 indictments filed against 174 Israeli-Arabs and Israeli-Jews related to the violent incidents that flared up within the country after the fighting with Hamas began last week.

A wide variety of crimes were listed, including: attacking police officers, security forces and fellow citizens, endangering the lives of persons driving in vehicles, public disorder, throwing rocks, arson, purposeful destruction of property based on racial motivations.

A statement from the Justice Ministry said the vast majority of the cases had a “nationalist-racist background” to them, and that many were aimed at causing instability in Israeli society at a time of crisis.

Although the ministry would not officially divulge a statistical breakdown, The Jerusalem Post said that it has learned that out of the approximately 170 persons indicted for ethnic strife, approximately 161 were Arabs and 13 Jews.

The ministry stressed that it prosecutes such crimes without regard to the ethnic background of the suspects.

The Post questioned the fact that so far no Jews have been indicted in the Central District, which includes Lod, where several Jews were arrested for alleged violence.

However, the Jews in question were released on bail at a later stage, but are still under police investigation and may yet be indicted, the report said.