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Police chief orders ‘significant’ increase of cops in Lod, other cities after rioting

A car set on fire by Israeli Arab residents during riots in the central Israeli town of Lod, on May 11, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/FLASH90)
A car set on fire by Israeli Arab residents during riots in the central Israeli town of Lod, on May 11, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/FLASH90)

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai orders a “significant” bolstering of police presence in the city of Lod and a number of other locations after Public Security Minister Amir Ohana declared a state of emergency in the central Jewish-Arab city overnight.

The order comes after intense Arab rioting broke out in Lod late Tuesday, with three synagogues and numerous shops reportedly set on fire, and dozens of cars set alight.

“We are witnessing a situation we have not seen before in mixed cities and this includes severe violence with a nationalist background, harm to religious symbols and also attempts to harm police officers and close major thoroughfares,” Shabtai says. “The Israel Police is currently facing a series of national missions and we will carry out our duties and restore order.”

According to the statement from police, the declaration of a state emergency gives them “greater freedom of action.”

Arab violence erupted in numerous other cities across Israel alongside reports of Jewish attacks, including in Lod, where a Muslim cemetery was set ablaze.

Attacks were reported on Jewish homes in Ramle, where cars were also stoned. In Acre, a restaurant and a hotel were set ablaze, seriously injuring one man.

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