Israelis stone Palestinian cars near scene of West Bank stabbing attack

Settler leader urges military ‘reprisal operations’ against the PA after soldier, civilian wounded outside IDF base

More than a dozen settler youths were filmed Thursday hurling stones at Palestinian cars stopped at an IDF checkpoint that was erected following a stabbing attack earlier in the day in the northern West Bank, in which two Israelis were injured.

Footage documented by a field worker for the Yesh Din rights group shows some 15 young Israelis fleeing a hilltop adjacent to the Yitzhar settlement and piling into a pair of vehicles after a police van arrives at the scene.

The two Israeli vehicles seen in the video clip manage to speed away without being stopped by authorities.

According to Yesh Din, the settlers later returned to a nearby hilltop, from which they continued throwing rocks at Palestinians. The rights group claimed IDF troops at the scene did not act to stop the settlers. There was no immediate comment from the army.

The incident took place hours after two people were injured in a stabbing attack outside a nearby army base. An Israeli soldier was moderately hurt, sustaining stab wounds to the face and upper body. A civilian woman, 26, was lightly injured by a ricochet from shots fired at the assailant, who fled the scene.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan (3rd-left) at the scene of a stabbing attack in the northern West Bank on October 11, 2018. (Roi Hadi)

In response to the stabbing — the second attack in the West Bank this week — pro-settler leaders urged the government to step up its measures against terrorism, with one urging action “as if in war.”

“We won’t accept a ‘trickle’ of terror incidents day after day,” said Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, where both attacks occurred. He added that Israeli residents of the West Bank “deserve security just like Israeli citizens in any other place in the state.”

Dagan called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to order “military reprisal operations against the terror bases in the Palestinian Authority. The era of surgical treatment is over, the IDF needs to act against the Palestinian Authority, which funds, incites and sends them.”

He also said the government should step up the pace of settlement construction and immediately approve 1,000 new homes, as a response to terrorism and as a way to “destroy their motivation.”

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel attends a Jewish Home faction at the Knesset in Jerusalem, December 11, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

IDF troops on Thursday afternoon were searching for the terrorist, who escaped at first by foot and was then reportedly picked up by a car that drove toward the Palestinian town of Hawara.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel called on the prime minister to convene the security cabinet following the attack.

“We must immediately restore deterrence in order to end the Jewish bloodbath,” Ariel, a member of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, wrote on Twitter.

“We must respond with a strong hand including the destruction of homes, expulsion of terrorists’ families and revocation of all the ‘benefits’ and ‘prizes’ that they receive immediately,” he said.

In the first attack this week, a Palestinian terrorist on Sunday shot and killed two of his coworkers — Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi — and wounded a third, Sara Vaturi, in the northern West Bank’s Barkan Industrial Park where he was employed.

Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alowa, a Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a deadly terror attack on October 7, 2018 in the Barkan Industrial Zone in the northern West Bank. (Courtesy).

The suspect, Ashraf Na’alowa, fled the scene and has eluded capture. The hunt for the suspected terrorist entered its fifth day Thursday.

Officials reportedly believe that Na’alowa, who is said to have left a suicide note before the attack, is preparing to engage troops when they close in on him in a firefight that could turn deadly.

Judah Ari Gross and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Most Popular
read more: