Opposition leader Isaac Herzog lashed out at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Tuesday over Arab riots in Jaffa that left six police officers lightly wounded.
“The Jaffa riots are very serious, and must be condemned outright. They are another example of Netanyahu’s loss of control and of the deterioration in personal security,” Herzog, head of the Zionist Union Knesset faction, said in a statement.
“We have to change this reality. Netanyahu is weak and cannot protect the security of Israel’s citizens,” he said.
Six police officers were lightly wounded when a demonstration sparked by tensions over the Temple Mount turned into a violent riot in the Jewish-Arab neighborhood south of Tel Aviv. Two of the officers were taken to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital for treatment.
In the neighborhood’s main square, local Arab residents waved Palestinian flags and chanted, “In spirit and in blood, we will redeem al-Aqsa mosque.”
When police arrived at the scene to disperse the demonstration, which was held without a permit, some masked protesters began hurling rocks at the officers. The protesters also blocked roads with dumpsters and tires. Six people were arrested.
Hundreds were involved in the protests.
Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beytenu party, said the protest proved that Palestinian incitement against Israel was having an impact even a short distance from central Tel Aviv.
The demonstration in Jaffa comes amid escalating violence and clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, after terror attacks killed four Israelis in the past week. Three Palestinian teenagers were killed in clashes on Sunday and Monday.