While Israel’s students returned to the classrooms for a new school year on Thursday, one student was hospitalized in the Tel Hashomer Hospital where she is undergoing a long and complicated rehabilitation process.
16-year-old Yeshua Yosefson, a student of the Kfar Pines religious girls’ high school northeast of the city of Hadera, was found unconscious on a street in Pardes Hanna-Karkur three months ago.
Yosefson jumped out of a vehicle in which she was riding, after the driver apparently attacked her. Full details are still unclear as Yosefson still does not fully remember what happened that day.
In an interview with the Besheva magazine this week, Yosefson, who has regained consciousness but is still hospitalized, said she is eager to return to her school and called on other youths not to hitchhike.
“Do not go hitchhiking!” she said. “Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. Everyone says to himself ‘it won’t happen to me’ and closes his eyes, but look what happened to me ... From my experience I learned that it could happen to anyone. Thank G-d, I was lucky that I was being watched over but you cannot rely on a miracle.”
Yeshua’s parents have not left her bedside since the incident and celebrated her 16th birthday with her at the hospital.
“Although we still have a long way, we thank G-d for what we have,” her mother, Sarah, told Besheva, describing her daughter’s complex rehabilitation process.
“She walks with a walker, her hand is still not functioning properly and there are additional challenges, but thank G-d we see an improvement every day,” added Sarah.
She added that her daughter’s memory is slowly returning and subsequently, the circumstances of her injury are becoming clearer.
“She remembers getting in the car for the ride and feeling threatened by the driver’s improper behavior,” said Sarah. “She realized she was in danger and that she had to escape quickly.”
Police initially thought that the incident was a hit and run but the spot in which Yeshua had been found as well as the details which she now remembers strengthen the police assumption that the incident was of a criminal nature.
Testimonies by Yeshua’s fellow students at the ulpana strengthen the police assumption. Two students testified that they saw the suspicious car and were offered a ride by its driver about half an hour before the estimated time in which Yeshua disappeared, but said the driver’s behavior was suspicious and so they exited the vehicle.
A third student also testified that she noticed the vehicle and that the driver offered her a ride, but she suspected him and refused to enter the vehicle.
With the new school year just underway, Sarah wishes to raise the hitchhiking issue and is calling on Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Education Minister Gideon Saar to take action.
“Somebody up there needs to wake up and act,” she said. “We must take care of our precious youth and help them understand that they shouldn’t hitchhike. The Ministry of Education should do something - this is not only an issue of this specific ulpana or of the youth in Judea and Samaria ... This is a widespread phenomenon in every corner of the country. At almost every intersection you can see youth standing around waiting for a ride. They are so innocent and by being this way they are endangering themselves again and again.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)