WARNING - DISTRESSING CONTENT: Disturbing video broadcast across Israeli news stations shows the moment extremists attempt to lynch a man pulled from his car as Israeli-Palestinian violence continues to flare in what is the most intense hostilities in years.
An angry mob of Israeli far-right activists marched down streets in the Bat Yam suburb of Tel-Aviv on Wednesday night (local time), attacking Arabs and smashing Arab-owned businesses, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Footage shows a vehicle, driven by a man identified as Arab by the violent crowd, crash into another vehicle as it attempted to flee the scene.
Warning: violent footage.
Israeli news outlets are showing this clip of an Arab man, who they say was pulled from his car and lynched in the coastal city of Bat Yam. https://t.co/SeZYzXP6dx
— Sheera Frenkel (@sheeraf) May 12, 2021
The man is pulled from the vehicle and brutally beaten by dozens of extremists, suffering multiple blows to the head. Members of the crowd can be heard shouting "lynch" as the man is attacked.
The man's lifeless body is eventually left lying in the street. At one point a man lashes his lifeless body with a flagpole which appears to carry the Israeli flag.
A separate video shows the man move his arms towards his bloodied head as a bystander attempts to disperse the mob.
According to public broadcaster Kan, he was evacuated for medical treatment at Ichilov Hospital, where his condition has deteriorated to serious.
Several news outlets suggest the man could be Jewish and was mistaken as an Arab.
As similar violent scenes erupted in other parts of the country where Arab and Jewish populations are largely mixed, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin begged those with influence to bring the violence to an end.
"Do all you can to stop this terrible thing that is happening before our eyes,” he told N12.
“We are dealing with a civil war between us without any reason. Please stop this madness.”
Netanyahu: “To the citizens of Israel I say that I do not care if your blood is boiling. You cannot take the law into your own hands. You cannot grab an ordinary Arab citizen and try to lynch him – just as we cannot watch Arab citizens do this to Jewish citizens.”
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) May 12, 2021
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added that "nothing justifies lynching Arabs".
"I do not care if your blood is boiling. You cannot take the law into your own hands. You cannot grab an ordinary Arab citizen and try to lynch him," he said.
The cities of Acre, Haifa and Lod faced notable violence at the hands of large crowds.
Four people were reportedly arrested in Bat Yam in connection to the riots, all of whom were carrying weapons. There were 374 people arrested nationwide, according to The Jerusalem Post.
'Just the beginning', Netanyahu warns
Despite his calls for an end to the extremist behaviour plaguing his nation's streets, Mr Netanyahu vowed to not let-up in Israel's Gaza barrages as a Hamas commander was confirmed dead and Palestinian militants responded by raining rockets far across the border.
At least 65 people have been killed in Gaza since violence escalated on Monday, according to the enclave's health ministry. Six people have been killed in Israel, medical officials said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Gaza City brigade commander and 15 other members of the Islamist militant group were killed in air strikes.
"This is just the beginning. We'll hit them like they've never dreamed possible," he said.
After the announcement, more rocket salvoes were fired at the Tel Aviv area and the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Sderot.
Hamas confirmed the death of the commander and of "other leaders and holy warriors" in a statement. Its chief Ismail Haniyeh added: "The confrontation with the enemy is open-ended."
Israel launched its military action after Hamas fired rockets in retaliation for Israeli police clashes with Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including at a holy site during the fasting month of Ramadan.
A Palestinian source said truce efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations had made no progress to end the violence.
The cross-border fighting has touched off strife within Israel, where some in the Arab minority mounted violent pro-Palestinian protests.
Describing the scenes of destruction as "harrowing", US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said a senior aide, Hady Amr, would be sent to urge Israelis and Palestinians to seek calm.
Israel pledged to keep pummelling Hamas.
"A 'truce' is not part of the jargon on our lips, certainly not in the coming day or two," military spokesman Brigadier-General Hidai Zilberman told Kan.
The military said its strikes were targeting rocket launch sites, Hamas offices and the homes of Hamas leaders.
"Israel has gone crazy," said a man on a Gaza street, where people ran out of their homes as explosions rocked buildings.
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin reaffirmed "ironclad support for Israel's legitimate right to defend itself".
The fighting is the heaviest since a 2014 war in the Hamas-ruled enclave, and concern is growing that the situation could spiral out of control.
Twenty-four people were killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza on Wednesday, Gaza's health ministry said. Many in Israel also spent a sleepless night as waves of rockets hit its heartland, some blown out of the sky by the country's so-called 'Iron Dome' interceptors.
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