Friday, May 15, 2015

15-May-15: Attempted murder by vehicle: yet another Palestinian Arab attack on pedestrians

Looking for a ride in Gush Etzion [Image Source]
The entrance to the town of Alon Shvut in the cluster of Israeli communities known as Gush Etzion is a 25-minute drive from downtown Jerusalem via multi-lane roads and just a few minutes walk from the Rami Levy supermarket that embodies ordinary day-to-day, live-and-let-live relations among Jewish, Moslem and Christian residents of this land.

But it's neither the good traffic infrastructure nor the routine neighbourliness of shoppers [as we described some months ago here] that brings the place into the news today.

Yesterday [Thursday] afternoon, in another attack in a growing list of similar assaults by vehicle-borne Arabs, four young men were injured - three of them aged just 16, the fourth and most serious hurt a young man of 25 - leaving them alive but with injuries ranging from serious to mild. They are all hospitalized and recovering today at Jerusalem's Shaarei Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah Ein Karem hospital.

Thursday afternoon's attack vehicle [Image Source]
That hitch-hiking post at the entrance to Alon Shvut Junction is the place from which three Israeli youngsters  - Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'er and Naftali Frenkel - were kidnapped and murdered, their bodies dumped while a massive search went on, by Hamas terrorists in the summer of 2014. [We reflected on little-noticed dimensions of that horrifying chapter in a post "11-Aug-14: Shalit Transaction revisited: At what point does facing up to the cost of a disastrous decision become unavoidable?"]

Times of Israel is reporting this morning that a Palestinian Arab they name as Muhammed Arfaaya, 22, from Hebron, who has confessed to the attack. He was behind the wheel of a black Subaru sedan bearing yellow Israeli license plates (note that many of the vehicles that travel the roads near Gush Etzion daily bear white PA license plates) that slammed at high speed and considerable force into the young Israelis at the bus stop. He then fled the scene but was apprehended within the next hour by IDF soldiers and arrested. The Shin Bet conducted a post-incident interrogation. The vehicle he was driving had been stolen [source].

The Times of Israel report says Arfaaya
was released from Israeli prison last year, after he served a sentence for carrying a weapon and throwing stones. According to the Shin Bet, Arfaaya claimed nationalistic motives drove him to hurt the Israelis. [Times of Israel, today]
Today, May 15, is marked by Palestinian Arabs as their Day of Catastrophe, recalling the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 following on from a decision by the United Nations. Israel's security forces are poised to deal with an expected wave of violence, the traditional form in which the Palestinian catastrophe is steadily enhanced and rendered perpetual.

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