Following severe Arab riots in Lod Tuesday night and the extremely high tensions in the mixed Jewish-Arab city, the police ordered the city to be closed and imposed a curfew beginning at 8 p.m. and ending at 4 a.m. Thursday morning.
Before the curfew took hold, the police reported clashes between Jewish and Arab residents of the city, which police broke up, and Jewish residents reported Arab rioters threw petrol bombs and stones once again.
The police banned anyone in Lod from leaving their homes after 8 p.m., from being present in any public spaces, and banned anyone from entering the city. Despite the police order, two people were shot and wounded in skirmishes in the city.
Because of the severe violence seen in the city on Monday and Tuesday, the Border Police established a task force headquarters in Lod on Wednesday, with a force of some 500 Border Police personnel, including tactical border police, detectives, investigators and other law enforcement personnel.
Tuesday night saw Arab rioters set fire to dozens of cars in the city, stones and firebombs were thrown, shop windows smashed, and trees uprooted.
Violence restarted on Tuesday afternoon during the funeral of Musa Hasuna, a 25-year old Arab resident who was allegedly involved in the riots and was shot and killed by a 34-year-old Jewish resident.
Mourners began throwing rocks at Jewish apartments and shouting nationalist slogans, and the riots spiraled into the night, with one man hit in the head by a rock and severely wounded.
Police evacuated some Jewish residents from the mixed Ramat Eshkol neighborhood living in apartment buildings together with other Arab families, fearing for their safety.
Posts on social media by settler activists stated that at least 30 Jewish youths from the Yitzhar region in the Samaria district of the West Bank traveled to Lod on Tuesday night and engaged in clashes with Arab rioters.
Video footage showed Jewish rioters throwing stones at Arab cars in Ramle – adjacent to Lod – causing one vehicle to crash into a roundabout and then a sidewalk, before fleeing the scene.
In one incident which occurred during the course of Tuesday night, Arab rioters broke into the home of a Jewish family living in Ramat Eshkol who had been evacuated, and vandalized every room in the apartment, causing extensive damage.
Reports were also made aware of settler activists making their way to Lod on Wednesday afternoon, although it was unclear if they managed to enter the city before the curfew was imposed.
Later on Tuesday, a protest was staged outside of the District Court of the Central region against the ongoing detention of three Jewish residents of Lod who are suspected of shooting at rioters, including Hasuna, amid the riots on Monday night.
Several hundred protesters demonstrated outside the court house, while MKs Matan Kahana of Yamina and Simcha Rothman of Religious Zionist Party attended the hearing.
The protesters cried out chants of “free the heroes,” “Jewish blood is not a free for all,” “Self-defense is not a crime,” “shame,” and demanded the immediate release of the detainees.
Meir Layosh, an activist in the Jewish community in Lod who was in attendance at the protests, insisted that on Monday night Jewish residents exit their apartment buildings to stop the approach of a large mob of rioters.
Layosh said that the rioters presented an immediate threat to the lives of the Jewish residents and that due to the ongoing absence of the police from the site of the riot, the residents who shot at the rioters did so to defend themselves from immediate, life-threatening danger.
“They have to be released immediately, this is self-defense in every degree. The police made a big mistake by taking 45 minutes to get there,” said Layosh.
In the hearing however, the court rejected the appeal of the four detainees to be released and their detention was extended until Thursday. On Thursday, they were all released, KAN reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, some Jewish residents were in a state of shock at the violent events of the last 48 hours.
“My trust in my neighbors has been broken completely, I saw my neighbor join the riots, until then I believed we could live here together well, they have destroyed everything, everything good," said Rivi Abramovich, 28.
Yuval Hovav, 28, was the owner of the house which was broken into.
“We have only tried to bring light here, but they have set our cars on fire, I don’t know how I can live next to my neighbor any more, but I do not intend to leave, I’m not afraid, and I do not intend to allow Lod to turn into an Arab city, we are in the heart of the State of Israel,” said Hovav.