Saturday, August 16, 2014

16-Aug-14: Far from the headlines, fresh violence in a little reported war

Streetscape in the thriving Israeli community of Beitar Illit [Image Source]
Israel National News (and as far as we can tell no other news channel) is reporting tonight on an attack carried out in the southern suburbs of Jerusalem tonight (Saturday) by assailants who might easily - but for some luck, Divine Providence, bad aim - have murdered the people they attacked.
Arab terrorists threw a molotov cocktail [a firebomb] on Saturday night at an Israeli car near Bethlehem, adjacent to the Hussan Junction in the Gush Etzion area of Judea, leaving the driver of the car suffering from moderate wounds... A 40-year-old resident of Beitar Ilit driving the car was inflicted with first- and second-degree burns, as well as as a cut to his head, apparently from a stone that was also thrown in the attack. The wounded man, who suffers from burns, was treated by Magen David Adom (MDA) medical crews at the scene, before being evacuated to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem... The Hussan Junction has been a problematic area in recent weeks, with Arab terrorists commonly targeting Israeli cars and buses with stones and molotov cocktails.
Husan (population about 7,000) has been on the minds of Israelis living in the area for some time. Just two weeks ago, residents of the nearby Israeli community of Beitar Illit (population: 43,000 and growing fast) held a protest [source] demanding greater security on the road serving their town:
Residents said that it has gotten to the point that they are afraid to drive past the Arab villages in the area of the junction, because they have been attacked so many times. They demanded that the IDF set up a command center near the junction, ensuring a regular presence to protect drivers. Beitar Ilit officials said that they have, in recent weeks, called for emergency army assistance numerous times as Arabs in the area rioted and threw rocks at residents' vehicles...

A February 2014 article in the Jerusalem Post on "how the economy trumps conflict" focuses on how the "car garages, construction material and home supplies" businesses in Husan serve to attract the attention of nearby Israelis whose optimism and natural willingness to live in a normal relationship with those around them evidently causes them to overlook the depths of hatred, and the accompanying danger that motivate some of their Arab neighbours.

Tonight's events, coming on top of those we reported here last month [an intercepted Arab car bomb in the same vicinity - see "28-Jul-14: Darkening clouds this side of Gaza"] will likely cause many Israelis to review carefully their future interactions. Presumably that is exactly what the terrorists intend.

UPDATE 12:30 am: A little news coverage is now emerging: Times of Israel has a small paragraph. We will link to others if we find them.

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