A police spokesperson defends the force’s use of live fire during the riots in Lod as well as the crowd dispersal methods deployed in East Jerusalem.
“This is the first time we’ve seen local residents using weapons, opening fire, and the response from our units has been also using live fire in order to prevent anyone from being killed,” police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld says.
Referring to the policies and preparation of the police for the unrest in Jerusalem, Rosenfeld says that “police were prepared and mobilized in Jerusalem in order to prevent the disturbances, but unfortunately local Arab Israeli residents were involved. Police responded by only using non-lethal weapons there.”
A state of emergency was declared in Lod after intense Arab rioting reportedly saw three synagogues and numerous shops torched, along with dozens of cars.
There was also violence in a number of other locations across the country. The situation was exacerbated by right-wing Jewish nationalists holding demonstrations amid the unrest.
A man was shot and killed in Lod on Monday night by a Jewish resident of the city who said it was an act of self-defense.
Rosenfeld made the remarks during a visit to the scene in Ashkelon where a rocket fired from Gaza hit a building, killing a foreign worker and seriously injured an elderly woman.