The Socio-Economic Cabinet has approved a proposal that will grant state compensation to residents of Akko who suffered financial loss during recent riots in the city. The state is expecting to give between five and eight million shekels to cover the property damage inflicted during the riots.
Compensation will be given to anyone who reported property damage to police during or shortly after the riots. Those seeking to receive compensation payments may file a request with municipal tax officials in the upcoming 65 days.
Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On and the National Tax Authority supported the measure.
The Israeli-Arab NGO Mossawa, a controversial group that frequently charges the state with racism, pushed for compensation payments as well. The group also asked that the Akko riots be defined as an “enemy operation.” The latter request was denied.
Akko Mayor Shimon Lankri said Monday that he welcomed the decision. “The Cabinet is helping us again, as it did during the Second Lebanon War,” he said. City officials expressed hope that the compensation payments would speed the process of recovery from the riots.
Riots began on Yom Kippur, when an Arab driver fought with Jewish worshipers after driving wildly through a Jewish neighborhood. The incident developed into a pogrom against local Jews as hundreds of Arabs stormed through the streets of the city, smashing storefronts and car windows and calling “Death to the Jews.”
Jews fought back, and over the next several nights gangs of Arab and Jewish men clashed repeatedly in the city. Both Arab and Jewish residents of the city suffered damages and destroyed property during the several days of fighting.