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Grandchildren Helped Save MK in Firebomb Attack

MK Schneller’s grandchildren alerted him just as terrorists were throwing firebombs at their car on Chanukah, the Festival of Lights.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/21/2011, 5:16 PM

Arab youth throws firebomb
Arab youth throws firebomb
Flash 90

Knesset Member Otniel Schneller told Arutz Sheva Wednesday that his grandchildren helped save him from terrorists who were throwing firebombs at their car on the first night of Chanukah.

The Kadima party legislator said it was the third time his car has been attacked with firebombs on the highway. He lives in the community of Maaleh Mikhmash, north of Jerusalem and in Samaria.

“We left home after lighting Chanukah candles and were headed towards the community of Neve Tzuf,” he related. "Just before Ofra, across from an Arab village, my children alerted me that terrorists were preparing to throw a firebomb at us. We saw the flaming bottle in the hands of one of the attackers.”

After being alerted by his grandchildren, MK Schneller was able to swerve his vehicle and avoid the Molotov cocktail, but a second firebomb exploded right behind his car. He said he saw one of the attackers fleeing while the other lit a third firebomb, which caused no damage.

MK Schneller took the attack routinely and used it to give his grandchildren a short lesson on the laws of Chanukah. According to the Talmud, the students of Rabbi Hillel concluded that Jews should light one candle on the first night of Chanukah, two on the second night and continue the procedure through the eighth night, when eight candles are lit.

Rabbi Shammai’s students concluded the opposite and said that eight candles should be lit on the first night and only one on the last night.

After the first Molotov cocktail was thrown, MK Schneller told his grandchildren, “Here is the first Chanukah candle.” After the second firebomb, he commented, ”It looks they were debating whether to follow Hillel or Shammai.”

MK Schneller related that he also has experienced several rock throwing attacks in addition to three firebomb attacks, but none of them have caused any injuries or serious damage.

“It is not a very pleasant experience, but I have been living here for 30 years and drive on the roads frequently,” added the legislator, who sits on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee.

“Judea and Samaria is a safe place,” he said. “We have seen a certain increase in attacks, perhaps because the Arabs are fighting to see who will control the roads – Fatah or Jihad.”

Other reasons he said might be fueling Arab fury are the release of hundreds of terrorists for the return of Gilad Shalit, and the freeze in the Palestinian Authority attempts to win international recognition.