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Carjacking Attempts on the Rise in Samaria

Several incidents of attempted violent carjackings by PA Arabs on the roads of Samaria underscore the need for security on the roads.
By David Lev
First Publish: 2/16/2012, 9:52 AM

A road in Samaria
A road in Samaria
Flash90

Thefts of cars owned by Israelis by Arabs from PA controlled areas is a long-time phenomenon, but in recent weeks, several incidents of attempted violent carjackings by PA Arabs on the roads of Samaria underscored the need for security on the roads.

On Tuesday, a resident of Karnei Shomron was forced from here vehicle while driving along Road 55 towards Kfar Sava. In an interview with Arutz 7, Osnat Vashdi said that all had been well until she stopped her car on the side of the road for a moment to adjust her seat belt. “After I passed the village of Nabi Elias, very close to the checkpoint on Road 55, I stopped the car,” she said. “Within seconds a number of Arabs attacked the vehicle, screaming and yelling that I should get out of the car. I held tightly onto the steering wheel and began blowing the horn, but they did not stop.”

The Arabs managed to get into the car and one began driving it, apparently intending to drive it to Kalkilya, just a few hundred meters away. But Vashdi was unable to get out of the car at that point, as she could not get her seat belt off. “Finally I was able to get it off, after I realized my life was in danger,” she said.

Police arrived within minutes, but the took about 35 minutes to get to the scene of the carjacking, she said. “The commander said that the gang was known, and that they had taken the car to Kalkilya, but after 25 minutes there was no point in chasing them,” she said. Her husband took her to the hospital where, thank G-d, she found that she hadn't broken any bones – but she was badly bruised, she said.

A similar incident was reported last week by a woman who was driving past Yakir, in central Samaria. The woman was driving from Ariel to Kedumim at night, and was several hundred meters before the entrance to Emanuel when an Arab vehicle cut her off on the narrow road, and forced her stop. An apparently armed Arab jumped from the vehicle, rapped on the window, and demanded that the woman open the door. Instead she pulled the door closed – but as he was stronger, he managed to force it open, and dragged her from the vehicle. The Arab drove her car away, leaving her on the dark road alone. She managed to run to the Emanuel junction, where someone stopped for her and she was able to report the incident.

In light of the incidents, the Karnei Shomron Local Authority issued safety procedures it recommended everyone take when driving in the area, urging drivers to lock their doors, not to stop on the side of the road, not to stop near Arab villages, not to stop when unidentified people try to flag them down, and, if they do need to leave the car, to take the keys with them.