A dramatic rock and brick-wielding ambush captured on tape last week was broadcast on Israel’s Channel 10 television news (video below). Zehava Weiss, an Israeli teacher who lives in the settlement Karmei Tzur, was on the receiving end of the barrage and found herself in a scary situation on her way home from work last Tuesday.
Channel 10 reports that the rock throwers along the road to Beit Ummar in the West Bank choose their targets carefully: waiting for cars to get close enough to see if the driver is Palestinian – in which he gets a pass – or an Israeli who gets the rock and brick treatment.
Weiss, whose car was captured by an AFP photographer in the photo above, told Channel 10, “I heard them. I saw them. I saw the murder in their eyes.”
Weiss described her harrowing experience to Israeli blogger Yisrael Medad, and questioned the ethics of the news photographers:
I observed a man running across the road from right to left. I first thought that this was a soldier with a rifle and I slowed down to grasp what was happening. I then noticed dozens of people, old, young and teenagers, congregating on my right. It then became apparent that the "soldier with a rifle" was actually a photographer with a camera. He was seeking a better picture angle to snap away at what was about to happen. On my left were at least two other photographers, waiting for the action. I should emphasize that I was not the first victim and other cars had already been stoned and so these press photographers were well aware what was happening and was about to happen to me. None of them, it seems, thought to call for assistance from the police or IDF none of whom were present.
Knowing I had no choice but to continue and surely not stop for otherwise, if I had slowed down, I would have been trapped and blocked off, the only thing in my mind was to proceed home and not get caught at that crossing. It was difficult to pass through as the rocks came from a distance of just a few feet from the car, 'zero-range' as we say. The rioters clearly could see that the car contained two young females, defenceless. We were struck by many rocks, my view was blocked by the cracked glass and I simply concentrated on getting out of there as quickly as I could. At the time, as well as at this moment of writing, I did not fully grasp the danger of our situation.
It was only when I arrived home that I realized the entire front of the car was covered with shattered glass particles including me, the infant seat, the back seat, everything. There was also damage caused to the sides of the car. At least eight large rocks and blocks had hit my car.
Jewish settlers report that such rock attacks are a nearly daily occurrence in Judea and Samaria, but their being captured on film is rare. In September, the IDF reported a 33% increase in Palestinian stoning attacks. The Israel Police reported that 100 Palestinians were arrested for throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles only in January and February. These attacks can be deadly.
Last year, 25-year-old Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan were killed by Palestinian rock-throwers who caused their car to overturn on a highway near the Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba. Pua Palmer, Asher’s wife and Yonatan’s mother – gave birth in January to a baby girl.
Luckily for Zehava Weiss, aware of the potential danger, she had reinforced windshields on her car, which may have saved her life.
Here is Channel 10’s report on the attack on Weiss and other motorists:
(H/T): Israel National News