Street scene in Akko following rioting
Street scene in Akko following rioting Police spokesperson

Education Minister Yoav Galant (Likud) has added his voice to those condemning the recent wave of violence between civilians across the country, mainly in so-called mixed cities such as Lod and Akko (Acre), where Jews and Arabs live in the same neighborhoods.

"Causing injury to innocent citizens and taking the law into one's own hands is a recipe for moral deterioration and anarchy," Galant wrote on his Facebook page. "Extremist rioters, whether Jews or Arabs, must not be permitted to take the law into their own hands. Anyone who does should be swiftly arrested and prosecuted. I strongly condemn all violations of the law."

Galant pointed out that, "The authority to use force, to the extent required, is given only to IDF soldiers and Israeli police officers, and they will receive any backing required for their actions. I call on law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to deal harshly with all lawbreakers, whether Arab or Jewish," he added.

In comments made yesterday, related largely to widely disseminated footage of a near-lynch of an Arab driver in Bat Yam, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used far stronger language.

"What has been happening in Israeli cities in recent days is intolerable. We have seen Arab rioters attacking civilians and setting fire to synagogues. This is anarchy. Nothing justifies it, and nothing justifies the lynching of Arabs by Jews. We will restore law and order to Israeli cities everywhere," he said.

"To the citizens of Israel, I say - I don't care if your blood is boiling. You cannot take the law into your own hands. You cannot seize a regular Arab citizen and try to lynch him."

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