A personal, eyewitness account by a resident of Gush Etzion:
The dispersion of an anti-Israel “demonstration” near Karmei Tzur in southern Gush Etzion became a routine news flash immediately after Shabbat in various news sites. My personal story can perhaps show what is behind such a dry report.
Radical extremist activists in recent months have been inciting the Arab population in Gush Etzion, urging them to strengthen their nationalism while trampling the rule of law, damaging the fabric of life of the Jewish residents, demolishing the good neighborly relations between the residents of the villages and residents of communities, and, most seriously: attempting murder.
On every Shabbat in recent months, the extreme left-wing activists come to the village of Beit Ummar near Karmei Tzur and pressure the Arab “youth” to approach the fence of the community of Karmei Tzur, while burning tires and throwing stones. Security forces try to disperse the violent riots, and have recently also begun to arrest rioters. In recent weeks, the youth have begun to riot also on weekdays.
On Wednesday, the fifth of Cheshvan, October 13, just after 3:20 pm, I noticed a burning tire at a distance of about 100 meters from the fence.
As I approached the site, the “youth" began throwing stones at me with a special gun. The stones, weighing about one kilogram [2.2 lbs.] each, landed about one or two meters from me. In a tower nearby were hiding two soldiers who escaped the stones and did not do anything in response to the attempted murder.
Meanwhile, the Arabs were shouting at the soldiers, “Come here, you cowards,” cursed, and made obscene gestures. When I got to the tower the soldiers told me that there was a special force on alert, and waiting for developments in order to arrive on the scene - as though an attempt to kill me was not enough for them.
Since I was equipped with a camera, I took pictures of one of the youths who were throwing the stones, and went with the pictures to the local police station. The investigator wrote down the complaint, received a CD with the pictures and passed the information on to the Hevron police for an investigation. Since then, I attempted to find out whether the murder suspect was arrested, but Rafi, the investigator who is handling the complaint, told me it was a long process. I do not know what's going on behind the scenes, but in the meantime there is no practical solution, and if there turns out to be one – it will be more than late.
The mishandling of the stone throwers which have recently been spreading in various parts of the country just helps to raise the next generation of terrorists. The daily brushes with security forces boost the little terrorists’ self-confidence and immunize them from any deterrence that a person who tries to harm a civilian or a cop should have. Arab children treat this as a game or a show, and are taught that stone-throwing is not perceived as a grave matter which brings with it severe punishment.
(Translated from Hebrew by Elad Benari)