Israel is planning to send troops to end the conflict after Jewish male guerrillas escalated into a series of atrocities in recent history.
Road rage erupted as Israel continued its anti-Hamas campaign, with Palestinian forces guarding the Gaza Strip firing about 500 stones into Israel overnight – about half the night before.
“I want to bring in the military to restore order,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday. “We’ve seen violent Arabs set fire to synagogues and cars and attack police – it’s a riot.”
He appealed to the Jews to respect the law: “I do not care if your blood is shed. You cannot take the law into your own hands. You cannot hold a permanent Arab citizen and try to seduce him – just as we cannot see Arab citizens treating Jewish citizens.”
He was speaking after Jewish factions appeared to be roaming the streets around the Arab world, including Lod, Haifa, Acre and Jaffa, where they nearly beat up a man they thought was an Arab. The incident was filmed on television. Arab shops were destroyed.
Arab protesters also took to the streets, sparking controversy with the Jews. On Tuesday, they set fire to cars and tortured Jews living in mixed cities, according to police.
Yair Revivo, the mayor of Lod, where most of the violence takes place, likened it to a “civil war”, saying police have lost power. More than 400 people have been arrested, local journalists say, and more than a dozen have been injured.
“We are in a difficult situation,” said Thabet Abu Rass, in Abraham Initiatives, which advocates for Arab-Jewish civilization. If nothing happened “we are close to the ‘Balkanisation’ of this war”.
Israel has set up more troops – including two paramilitary groups and one military unit – near the Gaza border. “No order has been issued for him to work on the ground with the chief of staff,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman. “But military preparations are underway.”
Violence has escalated in recent weeks between Palestinians and Israeli police in the region. al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Israeli police raided the stadium three times last week, using rubber bullets, tear gas and stunts. At least 600 Palestinians were injured in the fighting.
Hamas joined the movement on Monday, firing long rockets entering Jerusalem where Jewish theologians celebrated the capture of the Holy City in 1967 on the Western Wall, the site of the most holy Jewish shrine, connected to the mosque. Hamas had earlier ordered Jews living in East Jerusalem to stop harassing Arab citizens waiting to be ousted from Israeli courts.
Israelis responded by striking hundreds of planes into Gaza, including 600 Hamas weapons according to Israeli forces.
In Gaza, at least 83 people have been killed, including 17 children and seven women, according to government officials. Israel says at least 30 of them were Hamas fighters, including a handful of officers.
The death toll in Israel has risen to seven, including a soldier killed by an anti-tank weapon. Upcoming flights were relocated from Tel Aviv to a small airport near the Red Sea, away from Hamas rocks.