Six people were injured –including a mother and her two-year-old daughter in critical condition – Thursday night near Ariel after Palestinians hurled stones at a passenger bus, causing a three-vehicle collision.
The stones shattered the bus windshield, lightly injuring several passengers and apparently causing the vehicle to careen into a truck that then pinned the mother and her three daughters, ages 2, 4 and 6 – the older two of whom suffered moderate injuries).
The mother was later identified as Adva Bitton of the communal settlement of Yakir.
The Jerusalem Post quoted medic Medic Muawia Kabha as saying it took his team 25 minutes to pull the family out of the car, and that the 2-year-old had to be administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
“It was a very difficult scene,” Kabha said. “It looked like a terror attack.”
“This is a terror attack like any other,” an IDF source told Channel 10 News. “The rocks were thrown by Palestinians from one of the nearby villages. We have seen a 50-percent upsurge in rock-throwing incidents since the announcement of Obama’s visit to the country.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said he hopes incoming Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon would “finally change the military’s rules of engagement” and make rock throwers suffer the same punishment as those who fire live ammunition.
“Such a change will prevent Israeli soldiers and civilians from being targets for Arab outlaws and prevent tragedies like the one that befell an innocent family this evening,” he said.
Meanwhile, police are preparing for possible disturbances in Jerusalem’s Old City after Friday prayers, after receiving intelligence that worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque plan to create unrest.
This month the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security agency, released a report indicating the number of Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis – including firebombings, shootings, stabbings and improvised explosives – in the West Bank and east Jerusalem had risen sharply last month, from 83 in January to 139 in February.