See the second story below for more on what turned an isolated incident into full-blown riots. “Acre riots continue despite massive police presence,” by Yaakov Lappin for the Jerusalem Post, Oct. 12 (thanks to Dumbledoresarmy):
Despite police assurances that the city is under control, rioting in Acre by Jewish and Arab residents continued Saturday night for the fourth straight night.
The rioting began on Wednesday night, the eve of Yom Kippur, when an Arab resident of Acre drove into a Jewish neighborhood.
In addition to fasting, many observant Jews do not drive on Yom Kippur, and that is especially the case in Israel. An earlier report says the driver “blasted music from his car and refused to leave when asked.”
On Saturday, leaders of the Arab community met with Northern District Police chief Cmdr. Shimon Koren and the head of the Acre police station.
They agreed that the Arab leaders would publicly condemn the driver who sparked the riots when he drove into a Jewish neighborhood on Wednesday evening, after the beginning of Yom Kippur.
MK Abbas Zakour (United Arab List) said the Arab leadership in the city met on Saturday morning and discussed ways to avoid similar violence in the future.
He said that an announcement condemning the driver for entering a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur would be issued, because despite the fact that the driver didn’t intend to intentionally hurt the feeling of observant Jews, he “should have thought of a thousand ways to get home and avoid using his car at all costs.”
On Saturday evening, representatives of the Jewish and Arab communities were scheduled to meet to devise a plan to restore peace to the town.
“We will ask our Jewish brothers to meet tonight to discuss the future of Acre and not its history. We will try to find a way to restore the normalcy of coexistence and shared life to the city,” Zakour said.
Meanwhile, Koren was quoted as saying on Friday night that Islamic leaders who used mosque speakers to incite masses to violence on Wednesday evening would be arrested.
“Whoever incited violence will be arrested,” Shaked told The Jerusalem Post. He added, however, that “we do not intend to discuss which people we plan on arresting.”
Acre Chief Rabbi Yosef Yashar said he was disappointed with the police.
“We expect the police to enforce the law among the Arabs too, not just among the Jews,” he said on Friday.
Nehamiya Shirim Michaeli, a candidate running on an independent list in Acre’s upcoming mayoral election, said the Arab rioting had been preplanned by “Islamist forces” in the city.
“On this day, when the Jewish people soul-search among themselves and with God, 500 Arab youths entered this area with axes. This was a pogrom, a terrorist attack. We respected Ramadan for a month – all we ask is for Yom Kippur to be respected for one day. Coexistence is just a word here. If the Arab public wants respect, it must also give respect,” he said….
More information: “Israel rumor riots subside after 4 days,” by Shira Medding for CNN, October 12:
JERUSALEM (CNN) — The northern Israeli town of Acre was quiet on Sunday after four days of Arab-Jewish rioting, sparked in part by unsubstantiated rumors.
While the violence has subsided, there are still worries that the rioting could reignite at any moment.
Acre is one of a handful of inter-ethnic towns in Israel, consisting of 70 percent Jewish Israelis and about 30 percent Arab Israelis.
Rioting broke out Wednesday night after an Arab motorist entered a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish religion. Jewish residents confronted the driver and a fistfight broke out, according to Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld.
A rumor spread among Acre’s Arab residents that the driver had been killed and that prompted calls from some local mosques to avenge his reported death, Rosenfeld said.
Hundreds of Arab youths rioted in Acre’s Jewish neighborhood causing extensive damage to cars and shops in the area. Israeli police forcefully dispersed the crowds using tear gas and stun grenades, Rosenfeld said.
As soon as the Yom Kippur fast ended, about 200 Jewish residents began to riot in Acre’s Arab neighborhood. Police used force to disperse the rioters arresting some of them, Rosenfeld said.
Leaders on both sides called on the residents to restore calm, however those calls went unheeded and riots broke out again on Friday.
Two apartments belonging to Arab residents were torched by the Jewish rioters. Police separated the rioters throughout Saturday, however the rioting erupted again that night.
Rosenfeld said that police forces have been deployed throughout the town in large numbers to try and stop further rioting. So far, 54 of the rioters have been arrested.