A Palestinian stone-thrower looks on as he stands in front of a fire during clashes with IDF troops in the West Bank village of Duma.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A Palestinian gunman fired on an Israeli vehicle near the Tapuah junction, south of Nablus, on Wednesday morning.
Two women, both nurses, were on their way to work when bullets struck and penetrated their vehicle. Neither was wounded.
Hila Baum, a mother of eight from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar, said that when they neared the Palestinian village of Hawara, they thought a stone had hit the car.
“We didn’t see anything, but as we looked for the source of the noise, Netta [Ben-Ami, the other woman in the vehicle,] felt a pain in her back. We understood that we had been shot at,” said Baum. “We were afraid she was hit.”
They alerted the police and sped to the Tapuah junction, where an ambulance waited.
“Once we were there ,we understood the extent of the miracle,” Baum said.
The bullet had penetrated a car door and seat, barely missing Ben-Ami, a resident of Elon Moreh and mother of nine.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said that immediately after the attack, the army briefly shut down stores in the area to investigate and avoid disturbances.
“As soon as the investigation was complete, the area was reopened,” the army added.
Baum said that this was her second close call. In the spring, she was almost lynched by Palestinians close to where her car was hit.
Residents in the region have renewed their calls on the government for a bypass road, which would enable them to avoid driving through the area.
On Wednesday evening, they held a small rally at the Tapuah junction calling for an increased security presence.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said the government was “not fulfilling its obligation to defend its citizens.”
Security forces are taking precautionary steps in Judea and Samaria to maintain calm, particularly on Fridays, when Palestinian demonstrations become flash-points for violence.
Some Palestinians called for a day of rage this Friday to protest Monday’s death of Reham Dawabsha, 27, from burn wounds sustained in a July 31 arson attack on her home in the West Bank town of Duma, allegedly by Jewish extremists.
Her husband Sa’ad, 31, died of burn wounds a week after the attack; their 18-month old son Ali was killed in the blaze. Another son, four-yearold Ahmed, is being treated for severe burns at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.
The approach of the High Holy Days has led the IDF to take extra precautions, a senior security source said. However, there are no plans to move additional army units into the West Bank.
IDF units operating under the auspices of the Central Command will increase their presence on West Bank roads. Officers will hold ongoing security evaluations. These steps are similar to those taken by the army following the Duma attack.
The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) make nightly arrests of people suspected of involvement in terrorism and violence. Five people, including two Hamas members, were arrested across the West Bank in overnight raids between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Judea and Samaria District Police, together with army infantry units, discovered counterfeit IDF uniforms and firearms during overnight counterterrorism raids in the West Bank.
In Beit Umar, near Hebron, police officers and soldiers, together with the Shin Bet, found two handguns, ammunition, two radio devices and army uniforms that could have been used to carry out attacks.