Shocking video captured a crowd of ultra-nationalist Israelis pulling an Arab driver from a car and beating him until he lay motionless on the ground.
The footage from Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv — which aired live on Israeli TV on Wednesday night — shows the mob attacking the man amid a night of unrest as Hamas fired rockets at Israel, which launched airstrikes in Gaza, the Times of Israel reported.
“We’re watching a ‘lynching’ [a word used in Hebrew to refer to a vicious assault] in real-time,” reporter Daniel Elazar is heard saying in Hebrew. “There are no police here.”
The camera pulls away after a Channel 11 TV anchor says: “I don’t think we need to be showing this.”
Police and emergency services reportedly did not arrive until about 15 minutes later.
The unidentified man “is seriously injured but stable,” Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital said in a statement.
People in the crowd justified the attack by saying he had tried to ram the far-right nationalists, but the video shows a motorist trying to avoid Jewish extremists walking along a promenade, the Times of Israel reported.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said such incidents were “intolerable.”
“I don’t care if your blood is boiling. So it’s boiling. It’s irrelevant. You can’t take the law into your own hands,” he said.
“You can’t come to an Arab civilian and try to assault him, just as we can’t see Arab citizens do so to Jewish citizens. This will not stand,” Netanyahu added.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid denounced the “total loss of control,” while Yamina chief Naftali Bennett called the ugly scenes in the Tel Aviv suburb “un-Jewish, immoral, inhuman.”
Issawi Frej, an Arab deputy from the left-wing Meretz party, warned that the attack was a sign that Israel was heading toward “civil war.”
Jewish protesters in other parts of the country, including the northern cities of Tiberias and Acre, marched in the the streets chanting “Death to Arabs” and vandalizing Arab-owned businesses.