JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli police have arrested nine Jews suspected of recent assaults against Arabs in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, including several firebombings that set some homes ablaze, a spokesman said Monday.
The violence coincided with rioting last week in the northern city of Acre, where tensions between Jews and Arabs flared after an Arab drove into a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day when traffic largely comes to a halt.
Arabs comprise about a fifth of Israel’s population and have long complained of discrimination. Some Israeli Jews view Arab citizens of the Jewish state with suspicion over their sympathy and support for Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said six Jews were arrested in Tel Aviv Monday on suspicion of involvement in firebombings of Arab homes in the city. The attacks caused damage but no injuries.
Police arrested three other Jews Sunday after scuffles with Arabs in Jerusalem, where a garbage truck driven by an Arab was stoned. The driver was slightly injured.