Saturday, March 16, 2013

16-Mar-13: Palestinian Arab violence is on the rise

The Tel-Aviv-bound bus that was hit by rock-throwing terror practitioners
on Highway 5 near Ariel on Thursday
[Image Source: Israel's Channel 10 news]
As we have been saying during the last few weeks, there is a steady and noticeable increase in the rate of violent attacks being perpetrated against Israelis by Palestinian-Arabs in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. See for instance "8-Mar-13: The rioters are in action again on Jerusalem's Temple Mountand "8-Mar-13: Sharp rise in attacks on Israelis during February". 

This week's official visit to the area by the US president seems to be part of the calculation [see "14-Mar-13: President Obama is coming soon. What should he be told before he arrives?"], while the New York Times attributes the scaling up of the violence to "Palestinians protesting against hardship and Israeli actions in Gaza, and in support of Palestinian prisoners". These protests are of course invariable constants. It's likely there are additional contributory factors that will become clearer only later.

This past Tuesday, March 12, an IDF reserves unit was called to the scene of an orchestrated attack on Israeli vehicles traveling along Route 60, a major road also known as the "Way of the Patriarchs". The attackers were equipped with the customary lethal mix of rocks, blocks and Molotov cocktails (fire-bombs). The soldiers identified and then pursued the attackers who fled into Al-Fawwar, a village about 6 km south of Hevron. Israel National News says that when the IDF forces entered, riots began during which the soldiers felt a real threat to their lives, and started firing, killing one terrorist and wounding two others.

Thursday March 14 saw a series of attacks on Israeli, none of them reported widely outside of Israel:
Little Adele is in critical condition as we write this, following
the rock-hurling attack
  • Vehicles traveling on Highway 5, a major road that runs between Ariel and the coastal city of Herzliya, came under a different rock-hurling attack by Palestinian Arabs. One of the results was that a car was struck, causing the driver to lose control and collide with a truck. Four people in the car - a mother and three daughters - suffered serious injuries. One of them, a little girl aged two, Adele Biton, is in critical condition. That's her picture on the right. Her injured sisters are four and six.
  • In the same area and under the same hail of rocks, a bus heading towards Tel-Aviv from the Ariel area was struck, and passengers were injured, including the wife of a former Knesset member, Yehiel Hazan.
  • AP reports that ten suspects were arrested shortly after the Highway 5 attacks, all of them Palestinian Arabs, and that the IDF described the incident as a terror attack. INN says the arrests were made in the nearby villages of Heres and Kifl Harath.
  • AP says an Israeli civilian bus came under attack by Palestinian Arabs in Jerusalem. No reports of injuries.
  • Israel National News says "IDF soldiers shot a Palestinian Authority Arab terrorist on Thursday evening, after he threw a firebomb at them near Nitzanei Oz in the Sharon region... The terrorist sustained moderate to severe wounds and was taken by a Red Crescent ambulance to a hospital in the PA city of Tulkarm. After the terrorist was shot, the soldiers searched the area and discovered a huge cache of ready-to-use firebombs. It is believed that the terrorist had been planning to throw more firebombs at the soldiers, but his plan was foiled when he was shot by them". [Source: INN]
Friday March 15: Ynet says a family en route from their home in Modi'in to Jerusalem were injured when their vehicle came under rock attack during the afternoon on Route 443, one of the country's most heavily traveled arterial roads. Other travelers reported coming under rock attack on the same road during the evening hours of Friday. Route 443 serves northern Jerusalem.

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