Daily Israel Report

'Lebanese-Style' Terror Ambush Near Hevron

Sophisticated roadside explosive targets civilians who escape unhurt miraculously. Israeli press ignores the story.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/22/2012, 5:35 PM

Combat soldiers in live-fire drill
Combat soldiers in live-fire drill
Israel news photo: IDF spokesman

Two Jewish civilians were targeted by a sophisticated Arab roadside bomb Wednesday night near Hevron but escaped unhurt miraculously. The serious incident was hardly reported at all in the press, which was busy counting the number of blows dealt to anarchists who tried to block a major thoroughfare. 

Chaim Siton, a resident of Avigail in southern Mount Hevron, was driving home with a friend on the dark and largely deserted road, when he saw a piece of black fabric waving in the wind and thought it was a dog running toward the road. He braked slightly. This action may have saved his life, as in the next moment a huge ball of fire engulfed the front of his car. The fire was from an explosive device that had been planted at the side of the road and was detonated with a cell phone. Had Siton not braked, he probably would have been at the center of the explosion when the bomb went off.

As it happened, Siton and his passenger managed to escape unharmed and continued driving. At this point another miracle occurred and a second explosive charge, planted a few meters down the road, which was planned to explode on them, was not detonated.

IDF forces arrived on the scene but were instructed by their regiment commander to remain within their armored vehicles. This instruction proved to be the right decision: when the day dawned, the forces discovered a third bomb with a tripwire in the bushes, on a path leading to the nearby village of Yata. The bomb would have detonated against any IDF force that tried to go down the route.

Siton said that IDF sappers told him the three-bomb setup was sophisticated and reminiscent of the type of challenges faced by the IDF in Lebanon in years gone by.

Siton told Arutz Sheva that he does not understand why the event received no coverage in the press. "Something like this has not happened in the region in years, if ever. I am not a political man but it seems there are much smaller things that receive attention and coverage."

Siton said that he received a phone call before the Sabbath and was told that the Shin Bet succeeded in catching the terror cell that planted the bombs. "The Shin Bet and security forces worked in an amazing way," he said.

The ambush signals a possibly serious deterioration in the security situation in Judea, yet it appears only readers of Arutz Sheva even know the event took place.