LOD, Israel—Rockets fired by Hamas flew into Israel throughout the week, slamming into towns like Lod and Bat Yam. Another complicated challenge is coming from within, with neighbor turning against neighbor in an escalation of communal violence that Israel’s Arab and Jewish citizens haven’t seen for decades.
On Tuesday night, hundreds of residents of Lod, a city near the country’s main airport, came out waving Palestinian flags and set fire to cars, apartments inhabited by Jews and a synagogue in a mixed neighborhood. Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, described the events as a “pogrom.” Similar scenes occurred in the northern city of Acre, usually a tourist magnet.
The following night, a Jewish mob invaded the seaside promenade of Bat Yam, just south of Tel Aviv. Looking for Arabs, they dragged one man out of a passing car, severely beat him, and then vandalized an Arab-owned ice-cream parlor and a falafel restaurant.