Fake bombs turn up near site where 2-year-old was hurt by rock

Police investigate whether dummy explosives were warning of retaliation; child released from hospital after extensive testing.

Fake explosive device found near Jerusalem 370 (photo credit: (Courtesy Jerusalem Local News Channel 3)
Fake explosive device found near Jerusalem 370
(photo credit: (Courtesy Jerusalem Local News Channel 3)
Two fake bombs found in an east Jerusalem neighborhood Sunday, adjacent to the location where two-year-old Abigail Ben-Zion was struck in the head with a rock last week, are being investigated by police as a possible retaliatory warning.
Both phony bombs were found near a school in Sur Bahir, which abuts Armon Hanatziv, where Ben-Zion lives and was attacked while traveling with her parents and two brothers in a family car Thursday night, police said.
Described as crudely constructed fake devices placed in boxes with clocks and faux wires connected to them, Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Monday officers were investigating if they were planted as a warning for Ben- Zion’s assault.
Rosenfeld said officers cordoned off the area immediately after finding them, until they determined they were fakes.
“We are looking into a number of possibilities, including if there is a connection to last week’s assault – if it was a warning,” he said.
Following extensive neurological testing Ben-Zion was released from Hadassah University Medical Center Children’s Unit the same day the fake devices were found, four days after being injured.
While a hospital spokesperson did not comment on the severity of her injury, the official did say the child was well enough to be treated in her home, where she will continue to be observed by doctors for months to come.
Ben-Zion was moderately wounded when the rock shattered the car’s rear window, adjacent to her seat, striking the right side of her head.
Rendered nearly unconscious, she was transported by ambulance to the Ein Kerem hospital in moderate condition.
Her condition quickly improved to stable, following around-the-clock treatment by hospital staff. Describing the assault as “nationalistically motivated,” Rosenfeld said four teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 from the Arab neighborhood of Sur Bahir, near the scene of the attack, were arrested hours later.
The suspects were arraigned Friday morning at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court.
Meanwhile, residents of Armon Hanatziv described their neighborhood Sunday as being marred by violence and harassment perpetrated by Arab youths from surrounding villages.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who has designated the neighborhood as “up and coming for young families,” issued a statement Sunday night that he will work with police and legislatures to increase penalties for rock throwing and add security in the troubled community.
“We need to make clear to everyone that a rock is a weapon and should be treated as such,” he said.
“It cannot be that whoever is arrested for throwing rocks returns to throwing them. We must not accept this and must increase the punishment for that.”