Two toddlers died after being run over by members of their own family in separate incidents within hours of each other Monday.
In the northern town of Ein Mahil, outside of Nazareth, a 2-year-old boy was run over near the entrance to his family’s home on Monday afternoon.
The boy, named in Hebrew-language media reports as Mohammed Mahmoud Nafafah, was taken to the Holy Family Hospital, also known as the Italian Hospital, in Nazareth, where doctors declared him dead, police said.
Police said in the driver of the car, in his 40s, is a relative of the toddler, who was arriving for a visit when he struck the boy.
Less than an hour later, a 1-year-old girl was rushed to a hospital after she was run over in the driveway of her home in the southern Bedouin village of Tirabin al-Sana.
She was later pronounced dead. Police said they believed the driver of the car was the girl’s father.
Police have opened investigations into both incidents.
Twenty-two children under the age of 14 have been killed in traffic incidents since the beginning of the year, according to the road safety lobby group Or Yarok.
“Every year an entire classroom is wiped out,” said Or Yarok director Erez Kita in a statement.
Kita urged that the country prioritize reducing road deaths, especially among children.
He said special attention must be given to the Arab community “in which children are killed at a high rate compared to their share of the population.”
A total of 273 people have been killed in traffic incidents this year, according to Transportation Ministry statistics, putting it on pace for the lowest number of trafic fatalities since 2014, when 279 people were killed on Israel’s roads.
Including Monday’s deaths, there were 14 people killed in traffic incidents over November, making it the safest month in years.
At least part of the drop in road deaths is likely attributed to virus lockdowns keeping people at home, though Israel’s second national lockdown has been partially lifted for almost the whole of November.