Photo Credit: Yossi Aloni / Flash 90
A car set on fire by Israeli Arab residents during riots and clashes between Arab and Jewish residents, in the central Israeli town of Lod, on May 12, 2021.

Israeli Border Guard Police units entered the central Israeli city of Lod shortly after midnight, in the wee hours of Wednesday.

The Israeli government imposed a civil state of emergency on the city after unprecedented anti-Jewish riots by Arab Israelis in the city.

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A full-scale Arab-Jewish civil war has been taking place in the mixed Arab-Israeli city over the past few days.

Arab rioters began burning and attacking Jewish homes late Tuesday night. Arab rioters also attacked Jewish motorists traveling through the streets of the city.

A Jewish man was seriously wounded by stone-throwers as the funeral of an Arab protester who died in the central Israeli city descended into violence.

The rioters also torched three synagogues in the city and some 30 vehicles plus a number of stores in a Jewish neighborhood, according to Israel’s Channel 13 television news.

The city’s police were asked to escort several families who were afraid to walk from a community center to other destinations. However, Central District Police Commander Moshe Bareket denied to Israeli media there had been anything more. “Families were not evacuated from their homes,” Bareket said.

Lod Mayor Yair Revivo called on live television for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare a state of emergency and send in the military to restore order. Revivo called the situation in his city, “Kristallnacht in Lod.”

Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz agreed to immediately transfer Israeli Border Guard Police to Lod from Judea and Samaria, according to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Gantz ordered all Border Guard Police companies that were bolstering IDF forces in Judea and Samaria to go immediately instead to Lod.

Netanyahu also scheduled a discussion on the events in Lod with Israel’s Public Security Minister, the Inspector General of the Israel Police, the head of the National Security Council, the Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Attorney General and the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary.

“The Jews of the area are terrified and police have been beyond capacity to respond…The transfer is a problem, as there are attacks happening in the West Bank as well, that require maximum police presence,” an IDF source said.

It is expected there will be a further callup for IDF reservists to support the police by Wednesday morning.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.