Palestinians threw stones at a bus on Route 5 in the West Bank on Thursday and
may have sent a car crashing into a truck, pinning it under the vehicle, along
with the passengers – a mother and her three daughters.
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
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.
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
“It was an awful scene. It looked like a terrorist attack,” he
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. As of press time, the toddler was in surgery.
Mickey Rosenfeld said police had received a number of calls about stone-throwing
on the road at that time.
The Border Police said that as of 10 p.m. they,
along with IDF soldiers, were still searching in the area, including inside
Palestinian villages, but had arrested no suspects.
Also by 10 p.m.,
police had not determined for certain if rock-throwers had caused the wreck, but that this was likely, Rosenfeld
He added that police efforts were focused on two fronts – finding
out who threw the rocks and arresting them, and determining beyond a shadow of a
doubt whether the rocks caused the crash.
Hazon said he called on the
government to eradicate the phenomenon of stone-throwing that had exacted a
A resident of Ariel, Hazon said the city’s residents “won’t
be cannon fodder for the quiet the prime minister wants in advance of [US
President Barack] Obama’s visit,” Hazon said.
“I call on the government
to act firmly and with determination,” he said. “In the past three weeks, this
road has become a death trap. I suggest that that the government stop worrying
about [cabinet] appointments and [Knesset] seats and start protecting Israeli
Avi Ro’eh, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of
Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said that the stonethrowing attacks on Route
5 were acts of terrorism.
He said he had turned to the IDF and asked that
it take the issue of stonethrowing more seriously, because “stones can
MK Danny Danon (Likud) said that the incoming defense minister’s
first challenge would be to restore security to the roads in Judea and
Rosenfeld also said that police on Thursday night decided to
reinforce patrols in the Old City of Jerusalem, in preparation for Friday
prayers, after a general security assessment determined there was a strong
possibility of disturbances.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak
Aharonovitch will be in the Old City to observe the police preparations, his
The preparations included banning men between the ages of 18
and 55 from the Temple Mount complex, Rosenfeld said.
He added that the
precautions had nothing to do with the event outside Ariel.
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
A total of 139 attacks, including firebombings and the use of
improvised explosives, took place in February, compared to 83 in
One hundred of February’s attacks took place in the West Bank –
84 of them firebombings – compared to 56 in the previous month.
capital, 38 attacks – 35 of them firebombings – were registered by the Shin Bet
in February, compared to 27 in January.