Bedouin Guard Attacked by Mob in Northern Israel; Firebombs Thrown at Jewish Home in Lod

Eyewitnesses say that the group who beat the Bedouin man was made up of Jews ■ In the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod, firebombs were hurled toward a Jewish home but no injuries reported

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Avi Cohen outside his home
Avi Cohen outside his homeCredit: Bar Peleg

A Bedouin guard was attacked by a mob in northern Israel and firebombs were thrown at a Jewish home in Lod Thursday night, as tensions between Jews and Arabs within Israel remain high in the wake of the recent escalation.

In Binyamina, a guard was attacked by a gang of some 10 people, whom eyewitnesses identified as Jewish, after he refused to let them enter a construction site.

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An eyewitness from the nearby town of Zichron Yaakov said he saw “around 10 people beating somebody on the floor, and getting into their cars and fleeing straight away.” 

Magen David Adom said that they received a call just before midnight on Thursday about a man who was violently attacked in Binyamina. The man, around 30-years-old, was evacuated to Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa in a mild to moderate condition and will undergo surgery.

According to the police, the victim and another guard, who hail from southern Israel, ordered a vehicle to stop near the construction site. The police suspect that the occupants of the vehicle then fled and were pursued by the guards. Later on, another vehicle arrived at the site and the occupants attacked one of the guards.

The police said they are investigating the incident.

Jewish home firebombed

In a separate incident, firebombs were thrown toward a Jewish home in the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Lod. There were no injuries from the incident, and only minor damage to the property.

Avi Cohen, who lives in the house with his family, described the "crazy night of fear and insecurity." He said his wife grabbed their children from the beds and ran outside once they realized what was going on, and that a neighbor put out the fire.

Residents of the majority Chabad neighborhood said that they were prepared for such an incident in advance, and were able to extinguish the fire quickly. 

The scene of the attack in Binyamina, last night

"Miracles happened here," said Cohen. "Only one of the four bottles exploded." The police are investigating the attack. 

The Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai paid a visit to the scene. 
"Although the investigation is in its early stages, I am sure it is only a matter of time before we get our hands on the suspects."

Lod Municipality also released a statement, vowing that law enforcement authorities would be "dealt with severely" and said that the municipality and "the residents of Lod, Arabs and Jews, will not allow incitement to harm the return to quiet."

On Friday, the family of Moussa Hassouna, a Lod resident who was shot during clashes between Arabs and Jews around three weeks ago, also held a protest against the absence of justice for Hassouna, with a further demonstration slated for Saturday evening. 

Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh said that if a Jewish man was killed, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana would be "the first to ensure that there would be severe punishment, but when the murdered man is an Arab citizen, the murderers receive full backing from the law enforcement and justice systems."

Despite the relative calm in the last week, many incidents of intercommunal violence have been recently reported: a Jewish street cleaner was beaten, stones and firebombs were thrown at kindergartens, and stones were hurled at a synagogue. In response, Jewish residents decided to hire private security for their children's educational institutions. According to the police, however, the recent incidents have been marginal. 

In the last few days, police have removed roadblocks and withdrawn around 250 officers from Lod, who were sent as back-up during the flare-up.

Israel Police also began a large-scale arrest operation this week in response to violence in Arab towns and mixed Jewish-Arab cities, detaining more than 300 suspects already. The vast majority of the detainees are Arabs, and leaders of the community warn that the operation could reignite tensions. 

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