The government on Sunday authorized continued funding for the installation of rock-proof windows for vehicles belonging to residents of Judea and Samaria. The NIS 2.5 million ($680,000) budget is expected to ensure that all drivers who have been waiting for the windows in recent months, as well as new requests for the coming year, can be taken care of.
Release of the money had been long held up the Defense Ministry, which claimed that it did not have sufficient resources to fulfill all the requests it received. The money was finally released due to the efforts of Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) MK Uri Ariel, who indefatigably pointed out the life-saving aspects of the program to reluctant Defense Ministry officials.
Drivers who live in Judea and Samaria will now be able to apply for the program and have their glass windows replaced with specially designed plastic windows at authorized glaziers'. The windows are able to prevent most small and medium sized rocks from penetrating into a vehicle's passenger compartment. They are not bulletproof.
The program ran out out of funds months ago, even as instances of rock throwing increased significantly in Judea and Samaria. On Saturday night, residents of Karnei Shomron and Maale Shomron on Road 55 in Samaria held an angry protest, demanding that the IDF do more to stem the dozens of rock attacks they have been subject to in recent months.
During the protest, Arab rioters from the nearby village of Azzun came out onto the highway and hurled rocks at Israeli vehicles. One driver was injured, receiving first aid on the scene.