Arabs Stone Akko Jews

Arabs stoned a Jewish baby in Akko. Hamas called for a solidarity march. Jews torched an Arab home. The Arab who sparked the riots was censured.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 23:18

Jews in Akko protest Arab violence
Jews in Akko protest Arab violence
Flash 90

Arabs and Jews battled each other Saturday night after several hours of quiet tension that gripped the ancient city. Police dispersed both sides while Arab and Jewish leaders met to try to find ways to restore calm to the city.

 

Three Jews, including a baby, suffered injuries by rock-throwing Arabs who attacked Hasidim who were dancing after the Sabbath. Akko city officials said that police arrived at the scene but did not immediately act to restrain the Arabs and instead pushed back the Jews with water hoses. Jews protesting the Arab violence firebombed one Arab apartment.

 

Police during the day staved off a violent confrontation between several hundred angry Jews and Arabs following the Yom Kippur eve disturbance by an Arab driver who drove into a Jewish neighborhood.

 

Eyewitnesses contradicted the Arab driver's claim that he respected the sanctity of Yom Kippur by driving quietly into the neighborhood on the evening of Yom Kippur. He inexplicably told reporters that his radio was turned off, while Jews in the neighborhood said it was blaring and that he drove at such a high speed that people were afraid he intended to run them over in a repeat of similar terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

 

Arab leaders condemned the driver for disregarding the sanctity of the holy day, but Hamas leaders called on Gaza Arabs to march in solidarity to "reveal the true face of the Israeli oppression against Palestinians in Acre and in all the Palestinian cities."
Hamas called on Gaza Arabs to march in solidarity to "reveal the true face of the Israeli oppression against Palestinians in Acre and in all the Palestinian cities.

 

De facto Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh's spokesman said that the anger by "Jewish settlers" in Akko "should serve as a wake-up alarm to those who are betting on reaching peace with an occupation that rejects everything Palestinian or Arab." Spokesman Taher al-Nono accused "extremist Jewish settlers [in Akko] of acts of terror that could be the start of the final phase of ethnic cleansing of the 1948-occupied Palestine." He referred to the city as "occupied in 1948."

 

Arab and Jewish leaders in the city of 50,000 have boasted in the past about coexistence in the ancient port city, and Arab community leaders made a point to condemn the Arab driver, regardless of his behavior. They said he should have found a different way to arrive at the predominantly Jewish neighborhood.

 

Jews stoned his car, prompting other Arabs to drive to the neighborhood at high speed while a busload of Arabs arrived and went on a rampage, wielding knives, axes and truncheons and damaging more than 150 stores and cars.

 

More than 700 policemen guarded the city on the Sabbath and staved off a violent confrontation between 300-400 angry Jews and masked Arabs. Earlier, two Arab residences were torched.  
More than 700 policemen guarded the city on the Sabbath and staved off a violent confrontation between 300-400 angry Jews and masked Arabs.

 

Despite the calls for calm, 20 Arabs protested in Haifa and waved Palestinian Authority flags while Jews in neighboring Akko were trying to repair the damage from the Arab riots. Mordechai Shamilashvilo, the owner of a pizzeria, told the Toronto Star, "Five years ago, there was some trouble, but not like this."

 

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (Kadima) promised to arrest rioters and inciters and to investigate reports that calls for violence against Jews were heard in Arab mosques in the city.

 

Akko Arab Sami Hawary, who is active in coexistence efforts, told Reuters, "The tension is very high here, things are on a knife-edge."

 

Akko has suffered a decline in tourist traffic since the Oslo War (second Intifada) that broke out eight years ago.

 

Several Jewish merchants have begun an SMS campaign calling on Jews to boycott Arab businesses. A similar protest action began after the Oslo War began eight years ago.





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