Last Thursday, a woman was driving past the city of Ariel with her three young daughters in the car. At the same time, a group of Palestinians threw rocks at a truck coming in the other direction. The truck veered off its lane, and collided with the family’s car, causing moderate injuries to the mother and to the two older daughters. The youngest, a three-year-old child, was critically injured, and rushed to the nearest hospital. Doctors are working tirelessly to save her life.
Rock throwing is common in Judea and Samaria, and along with Molotov Cocktail and booby-trapped tire throwing, is a terror act that comes under the definition of ‘popular terror’. These incidents happen daily, and are easily ignored by the mainstream media, because they don’t seem that serious. But did you know that a simple rock can kill?
January 29, 1983: Esther Ohana (21)
Killed by a rock thrown at her car while driving near the Palestinian village Dahariya, on her way from Be’er Sheva to Jerusalem. The rock hit her head and put her in a coma. On February 12, after two weeks in a vegetative state, she passed away.
February 24, 1989: Stf. Sgt. Benny Meisner (25)
Killed when he was struck in the head by a concrete block in Nablus.
October 6, 2000: Bachor Jean (54)
Killed during the second Intifada by rocks thrown at his vehicle while he was travelling from Haifa to Rishon Lezion. The rocks shattered the windshield and struck his chest. His brother, who was driving the car, sped to the hospital but was too late. The perpetrators were found to be from the nearby Arab village Jisar a-Zarka.
May 7, 2001: Koby Mandell (13) and Yosef Ishran (14)
Were beaten to death with rocks when they were hiking in the outskirts of their village, Tekoa, in Judea and Samaria. Their bodies were found in a cave, covered with stones. The perpetrators have still not been found.
June 2, 2001: Yehuda Haim Shoham (5-month old baby)
Died of his wounds after rocks were thrown at his parents’ car while driving near the Palestinian village of Isawiya. The family was returning from relatives at Ra’anana to their house in Shiloh, when a Palestinian threw a rock at the front windshield, went through, and hit the baby in the back seat.
September 23, 2011: Asher Palmer (25) and his infant son Jonathan (12-month old baby)
Killed when their car veered and crashed into a tunnel after rocks were thrown at their front windshield while driving near Kiryat Arba. Later on, two Palestinians from the nearby village of Halhul admitted to instigating the attack.
The Judea and Samaria region has already seen 1,195 rock throwing incidents in 2013 alone.
In 1999, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled that damage caused by rocks thrown at a vehicle is considered a hate crime, not a traffic accident. Rock throwing may seem harmless, but rocks can kill. If we ignore rock throwing, we potentially encourage even more severe hate crimes and higher-scale terror attacks.