Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared a state of emergency in the city of Lod early this morning following the violent attacks that took place in the city since yesterday. Gantz acted using the authority granted to him by the declaration on a state of emergency on the home front. Gantz informed the chief of the Israel Police of the declaration after consulting with Internal Security Minister Amir Ohana as required by law.
The minister took the step after consulting with the government's legal adviser, speaking with Lod Mayor Yair Revivo, and taking part in a discussion on the topic that was held by the prime minister together with the internal security minister, the government's legal adviser and the chief of police.
The order enables placement of rescue forces under police command, use of needed equipment in the possession of various bodies, limitation of access to certain places, or limitation to a certain area due to concern over safety, all under article 90 of the police ordinance.
Immediately after the declaration by the Internal Security Minister, Amir Ohana, of a civil emergency in the city of Lod, the chief of police, Yaakov Shabtai, ordered a significant reinforcement of police forces in the city as well in a number of other mixed cities. In light of the events, the chief of police is moving his office to Lod, where a police command center will also be set up.
Civil emergency status provides policemen in the field with wider freedom of action in the city where the status has been declared. "The Israel Police will take tough steps against violators of law and order, and this is the time to emphasize that whoever violates an order by the police can receive up to three years in jail," a police source said.
The chief of police said "We are witnessing a situation that we have never seen before in mixed cities, and this includes serious nationalist violence, vandalization of religious symbols and also attempts to attack policemen and close major roads. The Israel Police has a series of national missions these days and we will carry out our tasks and restore order."