Arab houses torched in Acre
Riots resumed in the northern Israeli city of Acre on Saturday night after two houses belonging to Arab families had been torched overnight in the fourth day of violent clashes, police said. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, however, that the more than 700 police that were patrolling the coastal city of 50,000 people were still deployed that police were in regular contact with Jewish and Arab community leaders.
Riots erupted three days earlier on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Police said the clashes broke out when an Arab resident drove through a conservative Jewish neighbourhood blaring music from his car stereo. A group of Jewish youths assaulted the driver, accusing him of deliberately making noise and disrupting the sanctity of Yom Kippur.
Hundreds of Arabs took to the streets shortly afterwards, damaging around 100 cars and 40 shops, according to the police.
In the ensuing days Jewish and Arab rioters clashed with each other and with police. Two protesters and a police officer have been slightly wounded and 22 people arrested since the violence broke out.
On Saturday, Arab MP Abbas Zakur blamed the driver for the violence. "We, the Arabs of Acre, blame the driver who took his car out on the night of Yom Kippur. He should have done everything possible to go home without his car in the mainly Jewish area," he said after talks with fellow Arab leaders.