Police Chief: Zero Tolerance to Violence

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel Police Chief David Cohen instructed his forces to clamp down on any display of violence from Akko residents, whether Jewish or Arab.

Since the outbreak of violence in the northern coastal town, which began before dawn on Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement, police have arrested 64 people - 37 Arabs and 27 Jews - most charged with property damage, rioting and assaulting police officers.

The outbreak began when an Arab driver entered the predominately Jewish Ben Gurion neighborhood early Thursday morning, with his radio blaring, on the most solemn day of the Jewish year.

Though the driver claimed to have had no ill intentions when he drove into the neighborhood, police called it a provocation.

When local Jewish residents pelted the car with rocks and bottles, a local mosque rallied the city's Arab residents, some 500 of whom headed to the neighborhood, smashing windows en route and threatening Jews to stay inside their homes if they wanted to live.

Violence between Jewish and Arab residents continued through the weekend.

On Monday, President Shimon Peres and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter planned to visit Akko and meet with Arab and Jewish residents to hear their firsthand reports of the confrontations.

Source: YNet news

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