IDF nabs 10 in Route 5 stone-throwing attack

Stones thrown at vehicles near Ariel caused a serious crash that left a toddler fighting for her life.

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March 15, 2013 08:59
2 minute read.
Bus damaged by stones on Route 5 near Ariel, March 14

Bus stoned 370. (photo credit: Channel 10)

 
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IDF special forces arrested ten Palestinian men overnight Friday on suspicion of hurling rocks at an Israeli vehicle and being behind an attack that led the car to veer off the road, hit a truck, and leave a three-year-old girl fighting for her life. Three members of her family  were moderately injured in the incident.

The suspects were arrested after "accurate intelligence that was quickly assembled" reached the army, the IDF said. Duvdevan undercover soldiers took part in the arrest operation.

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Eights suspects were arrested in the village of Haras, and two in the village of Harath, southeast of Kalkiliya.

The arrest operation was led by the commander of the Efraim Regional Brigade, Col. Ran Kahana. The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Israel Police also took part. The suspects have been taken for questioning.

The IDF said it took a grave view of rock throwing attacks, and vowed to continue to act overtly and covertly to secure the residents of the area. 

A senior army source told The Jerusalem Post, “We will, through intelligence and operational steps, seek to capture the attackers.”

Among those lightly wounded on the bus by glass shattered by rocks was the wife of former Likud MK Yehiel Hazon.



But the Magen David Adom medics who raced to the scene near the Barkan settlement, not far from Ariel, around 6:25 p.m. focused on the mother, 32, and her daughters, aged two, four and six.

It took 25 minutes to pull the family out of the car, medic Muawia Kabha said.

The youngest girl was not breathing and was resuscitated with a mouth-to-mouth procedure, he said. Medics were able to revive her, but she was unconscious and in critical condition, he said.

The mother was also in moderate condition but was conscious, Kabha said. The two girls in the back seat were moderately wounded, because they were not in the part of the vehicle trapped under the truck, he said.

“It was an awful scene. It looked like a terrorist attack,” he added.

The mother, the toddler and the six-year-old were moved to Schneider Hospital after being taken to the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva, while the four-year-old was sent to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

Spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said police had received a number of calls about stone-throwing on the road at that time.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) released a report on Tuesday documenting a significant rise in Palestinian attacks in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in February.

A total of 139 attacks, including firebombings and the use of improvised explosives, took place in February, compared to 83 in January.

One hundred of February’s attacks took place in the West Bank – 84 of them firebombings – compared to 56 in the previous month.

In the capital, 38 attacks – 35 of them firebombings – were registered by the Shin Bet in February, compared to 27 in January.

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