Daily Israel Report

Police: 220 Rioters Arrested So Far

Police have arrested 220 Israeli Arab rioters over the past five days of rioting; they're prepared for a sixth night as well.
By Moshe Cohen
First Publish: 7/7/2014, 7:27 PM

Riots in Wadi Ara
Riots in Wadi Ara
Israel news photo: Flash 90

In the five days of unrest that have ensued since the discovery of the burned body of Mohammed Abu Khder, Israeli police have arrested 220 Israeli Arab rioters. Police are again on high alert, preparing for another night of rioting in Jerusalem, as well as in Arab towns and cities in the lower Galilee.

Police said that 36 officers have been injured trying to keep order at the scenes of riots, in which Arabs have thrown rocks and bricks at them, and destroyed private and public property.

Police said that they were attempting to reach out to community leaders in order to restore calm. With that, a police spokesperson added, all measures necessary will be taken against rioters and those who seek to upset the public order.

“We will use the full weight of the law against those who riot and endanger the public,” the spokesperson said, adding that “we are prepared for every scenario, and officers are equipped with all the means necessary to disperse crowds and avoid potential conflicts with other groups.”

Rioting in Israel's Arab towns continued into Sunday evening, in the fifth straight day of mayhem sparked by the murder of Muhammad Abu Khder, 16, of Shuafat.

In Tamra, in the Galilee, hundreds of residents hurled rocks and fireworks at security forces who worked hard to prevent them from blocking Highway 70. Eleven rioters were arrested Sunday.

In Nazareth, about 100 rioted, and large police forces kept them in check.

In Jerusalem, a group of Arab Muslims threw rocks at Jews who toured the Temple Mount, and then found refuge inside the Al Aqsa Mosque.

On Saturday, there was extensive rioting in Taibe, Tira and Kalansawa in central Israel, as well as Umm El-Fahm and Ar'ara in the north.

Ironically, while Israeli Arab rioting tends to target infrastructure and institutions that symbolize Israeli sovereignty, the people who suffer from the vandalism tend to be local residents themselves.

In the wake of the violence and destruction, Jews are expected to stay away from the Arab towns for months on end, in a de facto economic boycott that may have devastating consequences for the towns' economies.