A bus was torched on Thursday in Ramla next to the new cemetery in the city. Firefighters who arrived at the scene acted to extinguish the fire and suspect that it was a intentional arson. Last week, a bus and a sukkah were torched in Ramla, and graffiti in Arabic reading "al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades" was scrawled on walls in one of the Jewish neighborhoods in the city.
Shfela District Police opened an investigation, defined as a security investigation, and are investigating whether or not there's a connection between the torching of the bus on Thursday to the torching of a bus and graffiti last week. The Rishon Lezion Magistrates Court placed a gag order on all details of the investigation.
Ramla was one of the hotspots in the riots that took place during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May. On May 11, a 32-year-old Arab resident of the city was shot to death by a Jew. The shooter claims that he fired because he had no choice after his life was put in danger during the riots in the city.
During the riots in Lod and Ramla, buses and synagogues were torched and a large amount of property damage was caused, including in many homes and stores. The riots indicated the helplessness of the police, who were unable to contain the incidents at all or lower the height of the flames.
About a month ago, a senior police official told Walla that "Another wave of riots is not a question of if but of when. It is estimated that the next outbreak will be more violent against civilians and police, but this time, too, it will take us no less than 72 hours to make preparations for a significant mobilization of forces and to respond to events. This is due to the budgetary situation in which the police are found today."
During the riots in mixed Arab-Jewish cities around the country, about 153,000 calls were received at the Israel Police emergency hotline, according to police estimates. The police handled about 36,500 incidents - a figure about 40% higher than on regular days.