A senior level IDF source has reported: “We have seen a 50% upsurge in rock throwing attacks since the announcement of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the country.” One Judea and Samaria resident has similarly asserted that “rock throwing is a daily occurrence here,” while Yesha Council Chairman Avi Roeh declared, “A rock can kill and that is how security forces should address the situation. These tragic attacks are becoming increasingly more commonplace everyday in the Judea and Samaria region.”
According to eye witnesses, over the weekend Palestinians throwing rocks hit a bus causing it to go off the road, as well as a truck, lightly injuring both drivers, while a car that followed crashed into the truck, resulting in the car’s four passengers being hurt. The mother, Adva Bilton, was seriously injured. Two of her children were in moderate condition, while her two-year-old daughter, Adele, was in critical condition.
The Israeli emergency authorities that arrived at the scene described it as horrific. According to one firefighter, “There were two girls in the back seat [of the Bilton's car], aged 4 and 6, and we were able to pull them to safety quickly. The driver was trapped, as was the toddler strapped into a car seat in the front seat. The teams had to perform intricate extrication maneuvers, under difficult conditions and while making every effort not to further harm the driver or the toddler.”
The Bilton family is devastated. According to Adele’s grandmother, “They come over twice a week, every week. We eat and laugh, we have a good time together. I asked them to stay a little longer. After they left, my oldest son told me that he heard on the news that there had been a terror attack. I tried to call the house and their cell phone but there was no answer. I had a bad feeling. We then drove toward Yakir [near Ariel, where the Biton family lives] on the road, and I saw the accident. I was blown away. I said, ‘Adele is gone,’ because I knew she was in the front seat. I’m glad that at least the eldest daughter wasn’t with them.”
Aviva Hazen, the wife of former MK Yehiel Hazan, who was on the bus that went off the road, told her husband that “the attack was very traumatic. She was sitting in the front of the bus and heard a noise that sounded like an explosion. Now that they heard about what happened, they realized it was the sound of rocks being thrown. The driver was also hit in the eyes by broken glass, but managed to take control of the bus. He told the passengers, ‘I did it instinctively.’”
There was an additional terror attack involving Palestinian rocks-throwers in the same area, severely injuring a 10 month-old baby by glass fragments to the face. Additionally, another Israeli was wounded during a rock throwing attack in Jerusalem. In total, at least seven people were injured during a single evening just before the weekend in ten different rock throwing attacks.
To view a video of the damage, see below!
By Rachel Avraham