Text size

The mayor of the northern city of Acre addressed a crowd at a synagogue in the city Tuesday, saying "Acre belongs to us, and will remain ours forever."

Shimon Lankri spoke to a crowd of Jewish worshippers on Simhat Torah, nearly two weeks after the start on Yom Kippur of violent clashes between the city's Jewish and Arab residents that raged for five days.

Arabs flee

Many Arab families have fled in the face of the ugly mood in the northern town, and have not returned since.

"We won't allow anyone to touch our city," Lankri went on to say, at Acre's Kaf Haim synagogue. "There are people who want to spoil it, but we won't let them. We will protect our city, because it is dear to us and to the people of Israel," he added.

"Acre will continue marching forward, in spite of our enemies," Lankri continued. The mayor's remarks were met with enthusiastic applause and cheers from the crowd.

Last week, the Haifa District Court released into house arrest Tawfik Jamal, the Arab driver who drove into a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur Eve, sparking the riots.