A Jewish man was stabbed Thursday morning by a mob of Arab Israelis shouting “Allahu Akbar” in the central Israeli city of Lod, amid unrest and looting roiling mixed Arab-Jewish cities in Israel.
The turmoil comes as rockets from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip continue to rain down on Israel, prompting retaliatory strikes by the Israeli military.
Gil Gabai told Army Radio that the mob attacked her husband, who is now hospitalized, with stones and rocks before one stabbed him in the back, all the while shouting “Allahu Akbar” – or “God is great” in Arabic.
Lod, a mixed Arab-Jewish city near Israel’s main airport, has seen unprecedented rioting by Arab residents, with hundreds of cars torched and Jewish families forced to pack up a suitcase and leave their homes with police escorts.
Three synagogues and several Jewish-owned shops were torched.
A pregnant woman in the 39th week of her pregnancy was seriously hurt in the rioting.
בית כנסת שרוף בעיר לוד, רק בנס לא נשרפו ספרי התורה.
פוגרום תשפ"א pic.twitter.com/DsSQtK1PM2
— בנצי רובין (@bentzi_r) May 12, 2021
Lod Mayor Yair Revivo compared the violence to the Nazi Kristallnacht pogroms. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday condemned “bloodthirsty” Arab rioters, saying the rioting amounted to a “pogrom.”
Separately, an Arab man and his daughter were killed overnight Tuesday by a rocket in the same city.
Rivlin, usually known for fostering coexistence between Israel’s Arab and Jewish populations, said: “The sight of the pogrom in Lod and the disturbances across the country by an incited and bloodthirsty Arab mob… is unforgivable.”
Riots spilled over in other mixed cities in Israel, including Acre, where a man was critically hurt after having rocks hurled at him by Arab rioters, and Jaffa, where a synagogue was torched Wednesday evening and cars smashed with baseball bats. Jewish mobs were galvanized into their riots on Wednesday evening in the city of Bat Yam, smashing store fronts belonging to Arabs.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz called up 10 reserve Border Patrol companies to boost police efforts to control the confrontations on Thursday morning.
“We’re in a moment of emergency,” Gantz said. “At this time, there’s a need for massive reinforcements of the forces on the ground, which will be sent immediately to impose law and order.”
Meanwhile, the IDF has intensified its strike on Hamas, and said the possibility for a ground invasion into Gaza was “on the table.”
Close to 700 targets belonging to Gaza-based terror groups have been struck since the start of the operation three days ago.
Share the truth pic.twitter.com/GYD8SZu2jS
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 13, 2021
The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted about 90 percent of the Gaza-launched rockets targeting population centers in Israel.