The IDF arrested a number of Palestinian suspects connected to a rock-throwing incident in which an Israeli woman was hit in the head as she drove on Route 465 with two of her children to take a coronavirus test.
Rivka Teitel, 40, underwent surgery on Sunday night and remained hospitalized in serious but stable condition at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer
“She has a significant head injury,” Dr. Yoram Klein of the hospital’s critical care surgery and trauma unit told reporters.Rivka’s husband, Jack Teitel, an Israeli-American citizen, is considered a Jewish terrorist and is serving two life sentencesfor murdering two Palestinians in separate incidents in 1997.
Jack sought permission to briefly leave jail to be with his wife in the hospital, according to the right-wing NGO Honenu.
Soldiers continued to search for the attackers and blocked off the village of Deir Nizam, close to the scene. The village is located in the Binyamin Region of the West Bank near the Neve Tzuf settlement, also known as Halamish.
The Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that the IDF detained at least 15 residents of the villages as they “raided homes, assaulted and harassed residents.”
According to the IDF, its forces apprehended "a number of suspects from the rock-hurling attack earlier today, where an Israeli civilian was severely injured. We will continue operating in order to preserve the security in the region." The Shin Bet also participated in the operation.
In Tel Hashomer earlier in the day, Dassi Pepperman and Sarah Avitan, Rivka’s sisters, spoke briefly with reporters in front of the hospital where she is being treated.
Avitan said that the Teitel children who were with their mother, a girl aged 11, and a boy aged 15, were not physically harmed in the attack.
“It’s clear that it [the attack] was completely incidental,” she said, dismissing the notion that Rivka may have been deliberately targeted because of her husband’s crimes.
“It’s enough that we are Jews, no other reason is needed,” Avitan said.
Although Rivka’s situation was “not good,” her sisters said they were “optimistic” regarding her recovery.
This is the second time that terror has marked their family. Pepperman elaborated, telling of how Avitan’s husband, Moshe, had been injured and became disabled after a drive-by shooting attack by a Palestinian in 2009.
Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz called on the IDF to restore calm and to adopt a no-tolerance attitude for stone throwing.
According to the IDF there were 1,500 stone-throwing incidents by Palestinians towards Israeli vehicles in 2020, similar to the 1,469 in 2019. Those numbers are down from 1,881 such incidents in 2018 and the 2,549 in 2018.
Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedic Uri Gabriel said that Rivka was partly conscious when she was removed from the vehicle and was bleeding in the head, and that MDA medics and the IDF treated her wounds before she was taken to hospital.
The attack on Rivka comes in a period of renewed violence in the West Bank. On December 21, Esther Horgan, a mother of six, aged 52, was killed by a Palestinian while she was jogging in a forest near her home at the Tal Menashe settlement in the northern West Bank.
According to the left-wing group B’Tselem, the level of Jewish violence against Palestinians has risen since then and the group has documented nine instances in which stones were thrown at Palestinian vehicles in the West Bank.