Gaza war spreads to Israeli cities

An+Israeli+city+on+Wednesday%2C+May+10.

An Israeli city on Wednesday, May 10.

Emma Guenther, Staff Writer

The war in Israel is only spreading, and on Wednesday a stream of mob violence spread throughout many Israeli cities. The fighting was incited by days of increasingly severe altercations between Palestinians and Israeli police in East Jerusalem. The Israeli and Palestinian militants incited attacks and riots with rockets and missiles, with more than 1,000 rockets being fired from Gaza by the end of the night.

Civilian areas throughout southern and central Israel were showered with rockets fired from Hamas (the Islamist group that rules Gaza) and its allies. Additionally, “Israel said [the attacks] assassinated 10 senior militants and continued to pound both military and residential areas across the Gaza Strip with airstrikes,” (New York Times). According to the Israeli military, most rockets were intercepted by an antimissile defense system.

Health officials in Palestine have reported that since Monday, over 67 Palestinians (16 of whom were children) have died. Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad killed a minimum of six citizens of Israel, including one boy who was only five years old. On Wednesday, the Israeli military stated that they were “preparing for a worst-case scenario” and that a ground invasion may follow the air attack.

In Israeli civilian areas, “rival Jewish and Arab mobs attacked people, cars, shops, offices and hotels.” In Bat Yam, crowds of Jewish extremists actually took turns beating an Arab man until long after he stopped movements. In Acre, a mob of Arabs left a man in in a similar state after beating him with sticks and rocks. Another instance was in Tamra, where a Jewish man was almost stabbed to death by an Arab mob.

In central Israel, the city of Lod was locked down and 280 people were arrested for rioting throughout the country. The “anarchy” was condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called an emergency meeting early Thursday to “give more powers to the police” and enforce curfews “as needed.”

President Biden stated that “Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory,” and that he hopes the matter will settle soon. A State Department diplomat has been dispatched to assist in calming tensions. Protests have taken place throughout the U.S. in support of both sides.