‘Civil war’: Israeli mayor laments ‘Kristallnacht’ as Netanyahu sends troops to Lod, gripped by rioting & clashes

As IDF jets bomb Gaza and Palestinian militants fire rockets into Israel, the city of Lod has erupted in violence its mayor compared to a Nazi pogrom. PM Benjamin Netanyahu is pulling troops from the West Bank to restore order.

“This is Kristallnacht in Lod,” Yair Revivo told the Times of Israel on Tuesday evening, referring to the notorious 1938 pogrom against Jews in Nazi Germany, and adding, “there’s been nothing like this in the history of Israel.”

Lod is a historic city about 15 kilometers southwest of Tel Aviv. About a third of its population is made up of Israeli Arabs. On Tuesday, as Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups fired rockets at Israel from Gaza and the Israeli military bombed the strip, Led descended into riots and violence.

“Every minute, a car or a synagogue or a school is going up in flames… Our new city hall was broken into and set alight,” Revivo told the outlet. “Synagogues are being burned. Hundreds of cars set alight. Hundreds of Arab thugs are roaming the streets… Civil war has erupted in Lod.”

"All the work we have done here for years [on coexistence] has gone down the drain."

Revivo said the local community was being incited by “Islamists” and called the riot an “intifada” – a Palestinian term for an uprising against Israel. The “Orthodox-nationalist” Jews in the city had guns and were willing to use them, he warned, calling for the government to declare an emergency and send in the troops to restore order, as the situation has become “too big for police.”

"You don’t understand what’s happening here. This is worse than the missiles from Gaza."

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which control the Gaza Strip, have fired hundreds of rockets at Israel since Monday, while Israeli jets bombed the Palestinian enclave. At least two Israelis have been killed and over 30 were injured in the rocket attacks, while Palestinian officials reported almost 30 deaths and more than 150 people injured in Gaza.

Just before midnight on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that border battalions from “Judea and Samaria” – Israeli term for the West Bank – will be redeployed “immediately” to “restore law and order in Lod and all parts of the country.” A state of emergency was declared in the city as well

 There were reports of riots in other Israeli cities, however – from nearby Ramle to Acre, Haifa and Nazareth in the north.

All of these places have been part of Israel since it declared independence in 1948 – unlike the West Bank and Gaza, which had been annexed by Jordan and Egypt, respectively, and came under Israeli control after the 1967 war.

The declaration of emergency in Lod is significant, because it is the first time Tel Aviv has invoked these powers against an Israeli Arab community since the military administration over them was lifted in 1966.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which deny Israel the right to exist in any borders, launched rockets on Monday after clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters outside the Al Aqsa mosque, on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The protests were over a decision by an Israeli judge to evict several Palestinian families from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in favor of Israeli settlers.