Israel is in a state of chaos, with the situation in the West Bank rapidly spiraling out of control.
Overnight on May 12th, rioting and clashes in the Jewish-Arab city of Lod led to declaring a state of emergency. Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced the deployment of several Border Police units to help quell the violence that saw the burning of three synagogues and dozens of cars.
Lod’s Mayor, Yair Revivo said control of the city of Lod had been completely lost. Israel’s police chief claimed such levels of violence hadn’t been seen since October 2000.
Similar riots at a smaller scale were reported in other Jewish-Arab cities such as Acco and Ramle.
Fires engulfed the areas in and around Wadi Ara, Jisr az-Zarqa and Um al Fahm, as Israeli police attempted to maintain order, shooting rubber bullets and stun grenades as they were pelted with rocks and Molotov cocktails.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed security forces to respond harshly to those who violently protest and threaten public security. He completely rejected the possibility that Israeli police violence in Jerusalem was the cause for this, and assessed that it was simply “fundamental hate”.
The fire exchange between Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Gaza continues.
According to estimations as of the morning of May 12th, over 850 rockets crossed into Israeli territory after being launched from Gaza. Many of these rockets were newly-developed such as the SH85 and the A120 Al-Attar
Several rockets made direct hits on buildings and cars, killing five Israelis. Two of those killed were Khalil Awad, 52, and his daughter Nadin, 16, Arab-Israeli residents of a town near Lod, who were directly struck in a car.
The Al Qassam Brigades launched missile attacks on Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport, where all flights have been cancelled.
IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman said the barrages towards various cities in central Israel came after the Israeli Air Force targeted senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders, killing them.
In one of the strikes, the IDF said it killed two senior Hamas leaders who were key operatives from Hamas’ military intelligence in a combined operation with the Shin Bet security service. There are many other claims of killings and destructions of Hamas member homes.
The IDF claims that over 500 targets have been struck in the Strip since Operation Guardians of the Wall began and that dozens of Hamas members had been killed.
According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 35 people have been killed including 12 children and three women. 233 others have been wounded, during two days of hostilities.
This is slowly ramping up into a no holds barred fight, as Israel descends into unbridled chaos.