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IDF Soldier Blinded in Acid Attack by Arab Female at Hawara

Soldier loses vision in one eye. It's not the first attack by the woman, who took advantage of the checkpoint's less secure humanitarian lane.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 9/22/2008, 3:23 PM / Last Update: 9/22/2008, 7:19 PM

Israel News Photo: (file)

An IDF soldier faces the prospect of surgery on Tuesday and the loss of his vision in the wake of an attack by a Palestinian Authority Arab woman who sprayed toxic acid in his face on Monday.

 

The terrorist attacked the young soldier while he was manning the Hawara checkpoint near the PA-controlled city of Shechem in Samaria. She sprayed the toxic acid in his face as she crossed through the humanitarian lane which requires no security checks, inasmuch as it is used for medical care and other urgent cases.

 

Soldiers arrested the woman, who was found to be the same terrorist who struck in a similar attack on another soldier at the same location last week.

 

The soldier was rushed to a nearby hospital and transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah, where he was informed of the loss of vision in one of his eyes. Tuesday's operation is intended address the burns around his eyes.

 

Three PA Arabs were also injured from the substance. The attacker was taken into custody by other soldiers and transferred to security personnel for questioning.

 

Second Acid Attack in September

Monday’s incident was the second assault by the same terrorist this month. In the previous attack, she also attempted to cross through the humanitarian lane. She then approached the soldier stationed in the lane, sprayed the acid at his face and raced back in the direction from which she had come. However, in the chaos that ensued last time, she succeeded in her escape.

 

Her victim, who suffered light injuries from the acid, was taken to the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikvah for treatment.

 

The Hawara checkpoint has been the scene of numerous attacks on IDF soldiers and attempts by PA Arab teenage terrorists to smuggle explosive materials and other weapons into pre-1967 Israel for attacks on civilians.

 

Such items have included pipe bombs, gunpowder, rifle magazines, knives and other weapons.

 

Nonetheless, the IDF is currently "investing many resources to renovate the Hawara crossing for the convenience of the Palestinian population in the area and to improve the traffic in it," said a statement issued by the Army Spokesperson's Office.

 

Not the First Female Terrorist in Samaria

There have been at least 10 suicide bombings perpetrated by female terrorists from Judea and Samaria since 2002. More than 40 female terrorists have been arrested since the Oslo War began on Rosh HaShana, 2000. Some were arrested while on their way to commit suicide attacks.

 

An 18-year-old female suicide bomber from Shechem blew herself up at a crowded Border Guard commuter stop in northern Jerusalem exactly four years ago this month, murdering two Israelis and wounding some 30 others. Zeinab Ali Isa Abu-Salem, described by an Israeli eyewitness as “extraordinarily beautiful” was the hostess of a children’s TV show on a local station in Shechem owned by her family.

 

Abu-Salem detonated herself one day after US President George W. Bush had told the United Nations General Assembly that Israel must “end the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people” in a reference to the security checkpoints.

 

A year earlier, on October 4, 2003, 28-year-old Hanadi Jaradat detonated an explosive belt she wore into the Maxim restaurant in Haifa in one of the worst bombing attacks ever. The female terrorist murdered 21 Jewish and Arab Israelis, and wounded 51 others. Among the victims were two families and four children, including a two-month-old baby.

 

Jaradat, a trainee lawyer and a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization based in Damascus, blew up a restaurant that is known as a symbol of co-existence, co-owned by a Jew and a Christian Arab. Although the interior of the establishment was completely destroyed, it was promptly rebuilt and business was restored within a few months.