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Israel orders curfew in Lod after crackdown on Palestinian protesters

The measure comes after a night of intense protests, during which Israeli forces arrested scores of Palestinian demonstrators
Cars and buildings were burned during protests and confrontations between Palestinians and Jewish-Israelis in Lod on 11 May (MEE/Lubna Masarwa)

Israeli authorities have imposed an overnight curfew in the city of Lod after the earlier declaration of a state of emergency and scores of arrests in response to Palestinian protests.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Middle East Eye that "a strategic decision" had been made to enact a curfew between 8pm and 4am, local time (5pm-1am GMT).

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The Wednesday curfew comes after a state of emergency was announced in Lod on Tuesday evening.

"People are not allowed to be in public places, people are not allowed to leave the house, people are not allowed to enter the city," Rosenfeld said. 

Hundreds of border police officers - usually deployed in the occupied West Bank - have been mobilised in the area, he added.

Lod, called Lydd by Palestinians, is a mixed Jewish-Palestinian town south of Tel Aviv.

The Israeli government has taken a hardline stance against Palestinian citizens of Israel, especially in Lod, where demonstrators took to the streets on Tuesday evening in solidarity with protesters in Jerusalem and Gaza.

Confrontations erupted overnight in the town between Palestinians and Jewish-Israelis, with cars and buildings burned, and at least one synagogue torched.

Palestinian demonstrators denounced the attacks on Gaza and voiced solidarity with residents of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, who face imminent expulsion from their homes.

Earlier on Wednesday Israel's President Reuven Rivlin accused a "bloodthirsty Arab mob" in Lod of a "pogrom".

Hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel have taken to the streets in other cities as well, including Nazareth, Haifa and Jaffa.

Palestinian citizens of Israel constitute around 20 per cent of the country’s population and are subject to a number of discriminatory laws compared to Jewish-Israelis.