‘It’s like The Purge in real life’: Terrified Israelis say police are overwhelmed by Arab mobs

As bombs continue to be fired throughout Israel, residents in the central Israel city of Lod have chillingly described attacks from Arab mobs as ‘like something from The Purge films’.

Home owners and families have described the terror they are currently enduring and have said there is little police protection.

Under attack from thousands of Arabs – described by Israeli residents as terrorists – many are having to take law into their own hands as they stand on street corners with guns and bats.

Several synagogues have been burned down, trees have been uprooted, cars, homes and businesses have been smashed to pieces.

One man said he heard of a family who stayed on top of a building with only a gun and a pair of binoculars to protect themselves. 

Arabs and Israelis can be seen running away from gunfire amid burning buildings in Lod last night. Residents say there is little effective policing to help them with the situation

Arabs and Israelis can be seen running away from gunfire amid burning buildings in Lod last night. Residents say there is little effective policing to help them with the situation

As sirens go off and Israelis go into shelters, Arabs are destroying and burning their property.

One man said many Israelis are now not going into shelters and are choosing instead to protect their houses and to stop Arabs from entering the shelters with the aim of fighting and murdering Israelis inside. 

One Israeli was stabbed in the leg as he was on his way to a synagogue to say morning prayers today. 

Israelis have described the constant sound of screaming, blasts and gunshots amid the sirens. 

One resident in another Sderot, where a Hamas bomb fell yesterday, killing a six year old Israeli boy said: ‘I have lived in Sderot my whole life so I am used to the rockets and spending time in shelters. 

‘This is not the most extreme I’ve seen. When I was a teenager, I saw two brothers injured by a bomb. 

Several synagogues, homes, businesses and a school have been torched to the groundduring the unrest which has been going on for three nights and continues

Several synagogues, homes, businesses and a school have been torched to the groundduring the unrest which has been going on for three nights and continues

‘One of them was just seven years old and lost his leg. I have seen many traumatic things.

‘So to us the bombs falling now are not the scariest thing. For us, the scariest thing is what is happening right now in Lod.

‘There is not police protection and I can only describe it as like something from the film The Purge.

‘People are having to go out onto the streets with personal guns to protect themselves.

‘Many families have had no sleep now for three nights as all they are doing is desperately trying to protect their children.

‘I heard about one man who slept on the roof of his building with his family and just a pair of binoculars and a gun to protect himself.

Cars as well as homes have been destroyed amid the unrest. One resident said this neighbourhood 'got off lightly' with others completely ruined

Cars as well as homes have been destroyed amid the unrest. One resident said this neighbourhood ‘got off lightly’ with others completely ruined

‘It is really crazy what is happening in Lod and the police are not helping, I think because they are overwhelmed and too scared themselves.

‘There are thousands of Arabs attacking Jews there.

‘The Israeli border police have been drafted in and they are not a joke. They are not soldiers but have more training than regular police but the Arabs are not scared of them.’

A Lod resident, Etyan Meir, 32, had to flee to a village in the north with his two children and heavily pregnant wife. 

He said: ‘In the evenings for the past three nights, it has literally been a war zone. There has been non stop blasts and screaming.

‘Rioters – who I refer to as terrorists because I don’t think there is another way to refer to them, have been burning Jewish property.

‘Last night there was nine or ten shots. It is frightening – police presence is not enough. We see murder in their [arabs] eyes, quite literally.

‘We have a community watch and whoever has guns is there on street corners to protect us. There are people armed only with bats.

‘All of our cars and property has been vandalised and shattered and we had it easy. We are about 100 meters away from the Arab neighbourhood and if you go through there, it’s complete wreckage. 

‘It is a pomgrom. The first night they burned synagogues, they burned down Jewish property, they burned down an academic institution. This is the situation right now.

‘They just hate us, they want us out, they want to kill us. They will tell you that what is happening is a pretext to Jerusalem but I don’t see what burning down an elementary school has to do with Jerusalem. 

‘I don’t see what torching cars has to do with it, and trees. They have uprooted and burned trees throughout the entire town.

‘It has nothing to do with Jerusalem, which they claim to love so much it makes them want to murder Jews.

‘If we weren’t there on guard, that is what would happen. There was a Jew stabbed this morning on his way to say morning prayers. 

‘That happened at nine something this morning. He survived but was wounded.

‘It is just mayhem and the police are not doing enough. I don’t blame them, we love our police but the higher ups are not giving the right support.

‘They are just using dispersal methods, they are using hand flash grenades and spraying pepper spray which shoos them away for a little bit but then they just come back. This is the situation.

‘For us, the rockets are just the secondary thing. Two days ago, a rocket fell on Lod and unfortunately killed a man and his sixteen year old daughter.

‘They were actually Israeli Arabs.

‘We realised on the second night that when the sirens come out and we all went into the shelters, that’s when the rioting terrorists came out and took advantage and got closer to do more damage. 

‘They are not afraid of the rockets. Last night we had to learn that once the sirens came, we had to stand outside to make sure they don’t come in to try to murder us while we are hiding from the rockets. 

‘That is when they burn down our homes. It is unbelievable and none of this is an exaggeration. Living there is even more different, I can’t believe this 2021 and this is happening.

‘The very unfortunate thing is that in the Arab community, even though there are a lot of amazing people there, no one is condemning this, no one is speaking up.

‘The Arab members of Knesset are silent. Last night there was a horrible act in the city of Bat Yam where Jewish radicals lynched the Arab men.

‘It was a disgusting act and 99 per cent of the Jews in Israel condemned it – it was disgusting. 

‘We only wish we had the same reactions from the Arab community when they are committing acts of violence against us. But 99.9% of the violence is is perpetrated by them, un-instigated.

‘The other point one per cent that comes from the Jews is condemned by the Jews, that’s the difference.

‘Because of the things that happened last night, all the headlines are focussed on Arabs and Israelis clashing. That’s not true.

‘The thing that happened last night with the Jewish radicals, that was the single worst thing they could do on a war level and also on a media level as it gives all those who want to hate Israel ammunition and to blame them.’

Etyan said he plans on returning to Lod as soon as his wife has given birth, leaving her and the children safe in the North as he helps his neighbours and friends protect themselves.

The Israeli Knesset has been contacted for comment. 

Bombs continue to be fired throughout Israel, where the death toll continues to rise.

Another resident from Sderot, Dov Trachtman, 29 said:  ‘I had to just come back from shopping when I heard the rocket yesterday. It landed on top of a building.

‘I was shopping because I knew I would have to spend a long time in the shelter so I was preparing.

‘I heard the siren and saw rockets being intercepted by the iron dome and then this one got through.

‘I saw so many clouds but it was not so close to me. A young boy was severely injured from the shrapnel and later died.

‘The home of the mother of my sister-in-law was very badly damaged. She is very traumatised and has been taken to stay with relative in a Southern village to recover.’

Arab mobs claim to be seeking vengeance for an attack on Al-Asqa, a holy site in Islam that was built on top of the ruins of Beit Hamikdosh – the holiest temple in Judaism that was destroyed by the Romans.

Israel attacked the site because Arab rioters were throwing paving-slab size stones at police during unrest, sparked after an Arab family were evicted from their homes after refusing to pay rent on disputed property for years in East Jerusalem.

Since then, Hamas has launched over a thousand rockets at Israel who retaliated with rockets, destroying a building in Gaza. 

Last night, a Jewish mob lynched an motorist they believed to be Arab in Tel Aviv, sparking more unrest.

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

I have 26 years of experience as a professional writer and editor and have been working as a full time freelancer since 2011. I am originally from Casablanca, Morocco, and I graduated from Qatar University with a degree in journalism. I have worked for newspapers, magazines, news agencies, websites. I speak fluent Arabic, French, English, Russian and Spanish.

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