Tension simmers in Israeli-Arab towns

As violence continues to escalate between Israel and Gaza, tensions have spilled into mixed communities of Jews and Arabs in Israel, a new front in the long conflict.

In the city of Lod, police patrolled the streets and tyres were set alight on Thursday (May 13) night.

The hostilities have opened a new front by fuelling tension between Israeli Jews and the country's 21% Arab minority who live alongside them in some communities.

Subhi Talaib is an Arab resident and is calling for calm.

"We need to live here together. Co-existence, we need to be together, partners, to be partners to each other."

Often held up as an example of Arabs and Jews living alongside each other in relative calm, Acre is an ancient city on the Mediterranean coast.

But that peaceful co-existence has been shattered by the escalating rocket fire and air and artillery strikes.

Its pristine beaches seem a world away from the streets filled with police.

Amid reports of Arab and Jewish youths attacking each other that Reuters could not immediately confirm, some Acre residents said they were frightened to leave home for fear they would be mistaken for an Arab, or for a Jew.

But Moni Yosef who runs a popular theater that puts on shows in both Arabic and Hebrew is still holding out hope.

"It's not a fear, it's more very sad. Not just to me, i think it's sad for all the people in Acre, because people are losing money, losing the hope. But I trust the people of Acre that they can get up from this situation."