8 Arab Israelis arrested for alleged role in Lod firebomb attack

Shin Bet says incident in late May was ‘planned over a period of several days,’ unlike ethnic violence that erupted simultaneously with Gaza fighting

The aftermath of the fires caused at the site of the incident in Lod. (Israel Police)
The aftermath of the fires caused at the site of the incident in Lod. (Israel Police)

Security officials on Thursday revealed that eight Arab Israeli residents of the central city of Lod have been arrested for throwing Molotov cocktails at two Jewish homes in late May.

The eight suspects, aged between 15 and 22, allegedly hurled five Molotov cocktails on May 28 at an apartment building in Lod where Jews live. The resulting flames damaged two apartments, though no occupants were wounded in the attack.

A Shin Bet official said the attack was “different in character from other attacks during the clashes in May — it wasn’t carried out spontaneously in the heat of the moment but was planned over a period of several days.”

The suspects are slated to be indicted in the coming days, police said.

The attack occurred a week after a ceasefire took effect following 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. During the conflict, heavy clashes between Jews and Arabs broke out across the country, with several cities descending into mayhem and police failing to contain the most serious internal unrest to grip the country in years.

Lod saw some of the worst ethnic violence, with a Jewish and an Arab man killed in separate incidents during the unrest.

Police are seen in Lod during ethnic rioting in the mixed Jewish-Arab city in central Israel, May 12, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

President Isaac Herzog and his wife, Michal, paid a visit to Lod on Thursday to urge its residents to coexist following the unprecedented violence in the city.

“Lod is the State of Israel and the State of Israel is Lod,” Herzog said during his visit to the mixed Arab-Jewish city. “If we can’t learn to live together in Lod, we won’t be able to live together in the rest of the country.”

Herzog said that during his visit he encountered “immense love and sad pain. We must do everything in order to neutralize this pain and return to a path of love, unity, neighborliness and affection.”

Though not unprecedented, the internecine violence was some of the worst in Israel’s history, bringing to the surface long-simmering conflicts between Arab and Jewish Israelis.

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