Israeli police said Sunday that 25-year-old Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan were killed in a terrorist attack after Palestinians threw rocks at their car, causing it to overturn on a highway.
It happened Friday near the Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba. Authorities originally said the wreck was due to driver error, not stone throwing, prompting accusations of a police cover up so as not to "fan the flames" of a potential Palestinian protest.
Police re-labeled it a terror attack after further investigation and an autopsy on Asher Palmer's body revealed injuries consistent with a rock hurling, including fractures to his skull.
Arutz Sheva reported:
Among the evidence that at first failed, for unknown reasons, to convince police that terrorists may have been involved: a hole in the front windshield of the car, a massive rock found in the front seat with human blood on it, a tear in fabric of the steeling wheel cover and dust indicating a blow from the rock, and damage to Asher Palmer's face suggesting an impact unrelated to the crash.
"It was clearly a terrorist attack, Asher's gun had been stolen, there were rocks inside the vehicle and it was clear Asher was hit by a rock," Aharon Peretz, Palmer's brother-in-law, told Y Net News. "It's very grave that [a possible cover up] comes at the expense of a grieving family."
"He never fought with anyone. He was a quiet and special man and this is a great loss," Peretz said.
Knesset member Michael Ben Ari criticized the police for its handling of the investigation, saying they were "serving Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] over fear of violent protests and did not report this as a terror attack."
The chairman of the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization that oversees the local settlement governments, also slammed the Israeli Defense Force for not stating from the outset that the deaths were the result of a terror attack.
"There's no other way to put this, the IDF did not tell the truth to the public, the media or the bereaved family," Danny Dayan said. "I am angry and deeply disappointed in the IDF, its commanders and spokesmen who covered up the murder. The IDF chose a dishonest, unwise and indecent path."
The attack is the second such report of an Israeli baby targeted in a stone-hurling attack in the last week. On Thursday, The Blaze reported on a 20-month-old girl left bloodied after police said Arabs threw rocks at the car she was traveling in.
According to Arutz Sheva, at least 18 Israeli drivers have reported being victims of rock attacks in the past month alone.