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Peres appeals to Arab Israeli mayors to help settle violent riots

July 5, 2014 22:43

President urges Sakhnin mayor to convey message of reassurance to all Arab mayors in Israel, urging them to help ease flared tensions.

Shimon Peres

Former president Shimon Peres.. (photo credit:GPO/AMOS BEN GERSHOM)

President Shiom Peres called Jewish and Arab leaders in Israel on Saturday night to unite in order to prevent further unrest in the wake of the killing of Palestinian ten Muhammad Abu Khdeir.

Peres asked Sakhnin Mayor Mazen Ghnaim to convey a message of reassurance to all Arab mayors in Israel, urging them to help ease flared tensions.

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"Your heart and my heart are in pain, it's our duty to call for restraint from all residents," Peres told Ghnaim. "All the responsible leaders, Jews and Arabs alike, must come together as one in order to prevent a disaster and a loss of life. My heart aches for every death. Together, we can lower the flames and defend innocents."

Ghnaim, who also serve as the head of a council of Arab mayors, said he would attempt to calm the situation.

Violent protests erupted over the weekend in Israeli Arab areas in the country's Center and North.

Demonstrators hurled stone and Molotov cocktails at passing cars and security forces. Police made dozens of arrests.

On Saturday Sharon police sent "dozens to hundreds" of extra police and Border Patrol officers to the Triangle ahead of clashes that began anew in the afternoon, before they were broken up by police.

Across the Triangle region but also in the Wadi Ara and elsewhere, rioting broke out on Friday and Saturday.

In Taibe and Tira on both Friday night and Saturday afternoon, protesters burned tires, blocked the entrance to town and threw rocks at police and border patrol officers. 

Further north in the Wadi Ara region, clashes between broke out between police and protesters both on Friday night and on Saturday, including in Umm al-Fahm.

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