Daily Israel Report

Efrat Woman Hospitalized Following Rock Attack

A Jewish woman was seriously injured by a stone thrown at her car Tuesday evening by an Arab terrorist meters from the northern entrance of Efrat.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 5/9/2007, 1:37 PM

A Jewish woman was seriously injured by a stone thrown at her car Tuesday evening by an Arab, just meters from the entrance to the town Efrat, in Gush Etzion.

Esther Malka (Esther bat [daughter of] Zohara) has been hospitalized after being hit with a stone thrown through her car window by an Arab attacker while on her way home from Jerusalem. The attack took place near a PA-Arab run hardware store frequented by Efrat residents.

Fellow Efrat resident Hillel Porath, who was driving several hundred meters behind Malka, told Arutz-7 that he saw Malka’s car swerve and come to a halt.

“An Arab man ran toward my car and I was sure it was a terrorist,” he said. “I tried to run him over but heard him screaming pigua (terror attack), and I realized he was not the attacker.”

The Arab man, a contractor from Bethlehem whom Malka had picked up to give an estimate on home renovations, called the Efrat security hotline as Porath tried to offer the unconscious Malka support. “Her face was completely bloodied by the large stone,” Porath said. “She could not speak, even when she seemed to regain consciousness slightly.”

Porath said that the IDF took about 20 minutes to respond to calls to the emergency hotline. “When they finally arrived, they refused to launch a search of Arab homes and fields around the site of the attack,” he said. “They treated me like a child, explaining that they were not authorized to carry out such searches in response to stone-throw attacks.” '

Though reported to be “lightly injured,” Malka is currently hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, on a ventilator and awaiting head surgery.

Residents of Efrat and Gush Etzion will protest the declining security situation at the site of the stone-throwing near Efrat’s northern entrance at 10 AM this Friday.

“We need to show the army that we know that stones can kill and that we demand they take care of that hill," said Nadia Matar, director of Women in Green and coordinator of the grassroots action committees throughout Gush Etzion. "Otherwise, we ourselves will need to put a presence on that hill to protect the drivers."

Matar says the attack was launched from that area specifically because of talk that that entrance will soon be closed to Jews due to the Partition Wall’s proximity. “It is in the interest of the Arabs to turn that area in a ‘dangerous, problematic’ area in order to convince the authorities that it is in their interest to close that road to Jews,” Matar says.