Bat Yam Mayor Tzvika Brot said that the rioters were not residents of the city and that events had been organized by „provocateurs who arrived from outside the city and came here to commit vandalism.“ He added that police had information about this in advance and deployed in large numbers.
He said the interlopers were armed with knives, so he took out his gun, for which he has a license.
“We were under siege in our apartment. In the morning it was quiet for a few hours, but then from about 3 P.M. we were under siege again,” he said. “Hundreds of people were on the streets, shouting and throwing rocks at our windows. They saw Israeli flags – they know where we live. They’re our neighbors. Everybody I know had their cars set on fire.”
“You say the country is strong, with police, patrols and firefighters, but we found ourselves on our own as people tried to set fire to our home. Nobody came to put it out,” he said, adding that public institutions were receiving priority. “They said we were low priority.”
The police did not show up, “so finally we went down at about 3 A.M. to put out the fire.” Yigal said, adding that it took the police a long time to respond.
Public Security Minister Amir Ohana declared a state of emergency in the city after a meeting on Lod’s violent clashes with Netanyahu and other officials. Defense Minister Benny Gantz said all means would be made available to police trying to bring back order, which includes imposing curfews.
„An angry mob started to assemble, and they threw bricks and firebombs at us because we exited the house to make sure they wouldn’t come closer,“ he said. „At a certain point, when we felt like there was a real threat and the mob started getting closer to us, a few residents with handgun licenses fired in the air,“ he said.
Police suspect that one of the Jewish residents aimed his gun at the rioters rather than shooting in the air. Another resident said that there were at least four people who fired.