Civil war in Lod between Israelis and Palestinians
Clashes between Arabs, Israelis and army in Lod, East Jerusalem and West Bank. Hundreds of rockets rain down on Tel Aviv and Beersheba. Hundreds of Israeli raids on Gaza. Five Israelis died, at least 35 Palestinians, including 10 children. Criticism from the Arab League; US caution. Good chance for Netanyahu.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "Civil war has broken out in Lod": this is the comment of Yair Revivo, mayor of the city, after the state of emergency declared by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following clashes between Israeli police and Israeli Arabs city, under a rain of grenades and stones.
The day before, a young Israeli Arab was killed in a demonstration. Overnight clashes continued between groups of Israelis, who threw stones at Arab cars, and Arabs who threw stones and set fire to Israeli shops and windows. At least 12 people were injured. According to the Times of Israel, this is the first time since 1966 that a state of emergency has been applied to an Arab community.
More clashes and riots have broken out in other Israeli cities, in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank. This morning, a young Palestinian, Hussein Al-Titi, 26, was killed by an Israeli bullet during a demonstration in the Al-Fawwar refugee camp, near Hebron, which ended in clashes with the Israeli army.
The situation has been tense for days, caused by the eviction of Palestinian families from Shaikh Jarrah (East Jerusalem), by the Al Aqsa invasion by policemen during Ramadan, by the continuous launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli cities.
Hamas, the militant group that governs the Strip, has already launched at least 210 rockets towards Beersheba and Tel Aviv today alone. In Lod, near Tel Aviv, two people were killed, including a 7-year-old girl. A 50-year-old woman was killed in the Rishon Lezion neighborhood (Tel Aviv) after a missile hit the building where she resided. Two women were killed by a missile in Ashqelon.
The Israeli air force carried out hundreds of raids and bombed Gaza this morning. According to military sources, they killed several Hamas leaders, destroying a seven-story building that was the seat of "high-ranking members" of the group.
Palestinian medical sources say at least 35 Palestinians have been killed, including 10 children.
The Arab League accuses the Israeli government of wanting an escalation; the United States says Israel has the right to defend itself, but at the same time to stop the expulsion of Palestinians from Jerusalem. The US also blocked a motion in the Security Council.
The outbreak of violence has also stopped the search for a new coalition to form a new government to replace that of Benjamin Netanyahu. If within three weeks, the opponent Yair Lapid fails to form one, perhaps new elections will be needed (the fifth in less than two years) and new possibilities for Netanyahu to cling to power, again escaping conviction for corruption.