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Settlers protest rise in stoning attacks in northern West Bank

Demonstrators gather near Luban e-Sharkiya village, demand action by authorities; student describes near-death as rock smashed her windshield last week

Screen capture from video of a demonstration by Israeli settlers in the northern West Bank against stone throwing attacks on vehicles by Palestinians, November 25, 2021. (Ynet)
Screen capture from video of a demonstration by Israeli settlers in the northern West Bank against stone throwing attacks on vehicles by Palestinians, November 25, 2021. (Ynet)

Dozens of residents of Israeli settlements in the Binyamin region of the northern West Bank demonstrated Thursday in protest of what they say is an uptick in stone throwing attacks by Palestinians.

Protesters gathered near the Palestinian village of Luban e-Sharkiya, the Ynet news site reported.

Settlers claimed that recently there has been an increase in stoning incidents, and warned that lives are at stake.

Noya Ivgi, 24, a student at Ariel University in the northern West Bank, described to Ynet how her car was stoned last week.

Ivgi was driving alone at 10 p.m. between the settlements of Rimonim and Ofra when the driver of a car passing from the other direction flashed his headlights at her as a warning.

A little farther down the road she saw the highway littered with rocks. Moments later a stone smashed through her windscreen, nearly hitting her.

“I drove as fast as I could without being able to see,” she said. “Had someone been next to me in the car he would probably be dead. The rock missed me by centimeters; it was really a miracle I didn’t die.”

As she was driving Ivgi alerted police and then stopped at a gas station. Though she expected security forces to show up promptly, it took 15 minutes before a patrol car arrived, she said.

She later filed a complaint with police, who launched an investigation.

Ivgi said the place where the ambush happened offers cover for stone-throwers. She said she would continue to use the road as it is a necessity but urged authorities to act, warning that it was “a matter of life and death.”

Stonings of vehicles by both Palestinians and settlers in the West Bank are common and in some cases have led to serious injuries or deaths.

A Palestinian driver was seriously injured on Wednesday when his car was allegedly stoned by an Israeli settler, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and crash.

Israel in 2015 passed legislation that would see people who throw stones at civilian vehicles sent to prison for up to 10 years, without having to prove harmful intent in their actions.

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