Arab gunfire narrowly misses Israeli woman lying in bed, ‘a great miracle’

Gunfire in Lod narrowly misses a woman lying in bed, prompting National Security Minister to issue ultimatum to police.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israel Police took action in Lod overnight Thursday after National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir told a station commander at 2AM that he would come to the city himself if quiet was not restored, after fielding several panicked messages from Jewish residents who had been hearing gunfire near their homes for an hour, Israel National News reported Thursday.

One woman, Ofra Lax, had an even more frightening experience, as she told the minister that a bullet had just missed her.

He wrote back to the residents that he had demanded that forces be sent to the scene and that “if the shooting doesn’t calm down within the next few minutes, I intend to come to the city to inspect the situation from in the field and demand intensive action to fight the dangerous illegal weapons.”

The report said that a large force of officers arrived very shortly thereafter, made several arrests, and the gunfire ceased. The residents were very thankful, telling INN that Ben-Gvir has been very attentive to the ongoing issue of Arab violence in their mixed city since he entered his office.

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“He listened to our distress and is doing everything he can to fix it. We have to restore the security in Lod,” they stressed.

Lax, a journalist for INN’s parallel newspaper, Besheva, expressed both gratitude for her near-miss and incredulity about the perilous situation that is the norm in her town.

“A great miracle happened to me tonight,” she wrote after the incident. “I decided to go to bed early. 10:00 p.m. in bed. The city is indeed shaking from gunshots, but I try to ignore it.”

Suddenly she felt a small shower of wood, she wrote, so she called her husband in, and they found the bullet, which had hit her nightstand, missing her by mere inches.

“How does this happen in a major city in Israel? How does it make sense that they shoot here every night? And the truth? Not only here. I’m holding my breath, waiting for something to change,” she added.

Ben-Gvir has visited the city several times since the government was formed and has firmly backed the residents’ call to restore governability in Lod, which has been a constant cry since violent Arab rioting took place there during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021.

His answer is his country-wide plan to hire more than 3,200 police officers, raise salaries significantly to make the job more attractive, and establish a National Guard to augment the force in fighting crime as well as terrorism.

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The budget for all this, he said in May, should come “in the next few months.”

Lod Mayor Yair Revivo wants a faster solution, saying Thursday, “If the Shin Bet law to deal with Arab crime is not passed immediately, I will call for the toppling of the government.”

The idea to use Israel’s internal security agency with all its intelligence and surveillance methods that are applied to prevent terrorist attacks in order to fight the upsurge in crime in the Arab sector, is a controversial one. It was first raised in 2021 by the previous government.