Thursday, October 09, 2008

Acre Riots

Acre is now the scene of riots between Jewish and Arab residents after an Arab violated Yom Kippur:
"The unrest erupted around midnight on Wednesday, hours after Jews began observing Yom Kippur. An Arab resident of the old city of Acre drove his car to a neighborhood in the eastern part of the city, claiming that he owned a residence there and was simply on his way home. Jewish youths at the scene claimed the Arab man was deliberately making excessive noise.

"While allegedly shouting epithets, the youths proceeded to attack the Arab man. Shortly afterward, a group of Arab youths arrived at the scene, igniting a riot.

"News of the incident spread to the surrounding Arab neighborhoods of the town, including the old city, prompting hundreds to take to the streets. A significant crowd began coalescing along Ben Ami Street, which is considered the key commercial avenue in the city. Dozens of cars and shops along the street were vandalized.

"The head of the Acre police station, Chief Superintendent Avi Edri, told Haaretz that the altercation was initially an isolated one that broadened and escalated due to the involvement of Jewish and Arab gangs. Police used force to disperse the crowds and restore order in the city."

If this is in fact primarily gang-related, hopefully the impact in the rest of the country will be minimal aside from the activists on both sides.



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