Weekend of Fire and Stone Terror in Judea and Samaria
Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria experienced and extremely violent weekend. They were subjected to numerous terror attacks perpetrated by Arabs throughout region.
Arab arsonists took advantage of the dry and hot weather this weekend and ignited brush fields in several locations in an attempt to cause damage to homes and property or to destroy agricultural produce. At Amona, Arabs set fire to fields surrounding the community. At Hashmonaim a similar fire was started. Two Arab minors were arrested by the IDF in Samaria in suspicion of starting yet another fire. They were released by the police after their personal information was taken. During the Shabbat afternoon a fire was ignited near Beit El. Israeli and Palestinian firefighters worked together to extinguish the fire.
In Elazar in Gush Etzion three Arab youth infiltrated the community on Shabbat eve. The civilian-based Rapid Response Team (RRT) was alerted. The youth were caught and taken for questioning. A similar incursion occurred in Carmei Tsur. Three suspicious figures were identified laying an object on the community fence. More forces were called in to augment the surrounding security.
Multiple incidents of stone throwing attacks were recorded throughout Judea and Samaria. As a response to this escalation the IDF had authorized it forces to use the small caliber 0.22 Luger sniper rifle to stop rioters. Five rioters have been wounded by such fire so far. Near Eli several cars were hit by rocks. A few of the passengers were lightly wounded, one with a head injury. He was taken to the hospital.
In a similar incident, dozens of Arabs marched on a community near Amona called Hill 904. They attack the community every Friday, throwing stones at the homes. Two Israelis were arrested during the incident by the Border Police in suspicion of the throwing stones at Arabs. They later said they’d rather defend themselves with stones rather than using live fire. No Arabs were arrested. An attorney from Honenu, a legal aid organization which offers legal assistance to soldiers and civilians who find themselves in legal entanglements due to defending themselves against Arab aggression, was dispatched to defend the arrestees. A Honenu spokesman stated that: “Minister of Justice Tsipi Livni and Minister of Internal Security Aharonowitz’s are shamefully obsessed with graffiti (i.e. alleged ‘Price Tag’ actions) and its definition as an act of terror, while ignoring the threat the residents of Judea and Samaria incur daily, and as a result the police and army know who the ‘real’ terrorists are and who are merely engaged in their hobby, to kill Jews.”
The two were released a short while before Shabbat.