Anti-Jewish violence continues in third night of rioting inside Israel; synagogue burned, two people shot and wounded in Lod.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
An Israeli soldier was in critical condition Friday after his skull was broken in a vicious attack by Arabs in Jaffa during the third consecutive night of violence in Israeli cities with mixed Jewish-Arab populations.
The 19-year-old soldier was found bleeding on the sidewalk Thursday evening in the city of Jaffa at the southern end of Tel Aviv after he was attacked and was taken by ambulance to Ichilov hospital. After being operated on overnight by three neurosurgeons he remained in critical condition in the intensive care unit, Channel 12 reported.
Police struggled to maintain order as Arabs attacked Jews in dozens of locations across the country including the mixed cities of Acre, Haifa, Ramle, Lod and Jaffa.
In the city of Lod near Ben Gurion International Airport, two Jews including an ambulance crew member were reported shot and wounded and Arabs burned another synagogue after a Jewish man had been stabbed Thursday morning on his way to prayers. The victims were all hospitalized in light to moderate condition.
Police arrested at least 43 people in Lod as hundreds of officers faced off against rock-throwing Arab rioters who also hurled Molotov cocktails at security forces. Police also reported numerous shooting incidents, arson of synagogues and public places and extensive damage to property and infrastructure in the city.
In the northern city of Acre, Arab lynch mobs chased down Jewish residents, catching and beating several who were hospitalized.
His face bloodied after his car was attacked by an Arab mob, Acre resident Mor Ganashvili told Channel 11 News from his hospital bed he was sure he was going to die before managing to escape.
“I suddenly see a mass of Arabs, blood thirsty, they blocked the streets (and) their hands were full of rocks,” Ganashivili said. “I simply understood that I was not going to get out alive if I didn’t do something.”
The Arab violence was challenged by groups of Jewish youth who came out to fight back in Acre, Haifa, Lod and Jaffa, with police forced to intervene between the gangs, but Arab affairs analysts on Israel’s major television stations noted that the violence was predominantly from the Arab side, with Jewish groups only coming out in reaction to the Arab violence.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned all Israelis that all violence and attacks on public order would not be tolerated.
“We give 100% backing to the police, to the soldiers of the Border Police and to the other security forces in order to restore law and order to Israel’s cities,” Netanyahu said late Thursday evening. “We will not tolerate anarchy. We back the police in using all means with full powers.”
Netanyahu said the government had given police additional powers “for an emergency situation here.”
“I again call on the citizens of Israel not to take the law into their own hands; whoever does so will be punished severely,” Netanyahu said as all reserve border police officers were ordered mobilized to help bring the situation under control.