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IDF Arrests Suspects in Near-Fatal Rock Attack

The IDF arrests 10 PA men suspected of rock attack that badly wounded a mother and three young girls.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/15/2013, 8:37 AM

Arrest by special forces (file)
Arrest by special forces (file)
Nati Shochat, Flash 90

The IDF worked quickly in the wake of Thursday night’s rock attack near Ariel. By Friday morning soldiers had arrested 10 suspects, all Palestinian Authority resident Arab men.

The attack left a two-year-old girl in critical condition. The girl’s mother and two of her sisters suffered moderate to serious injuries.

The suspects all live in the area in which the attack was committed. Eight were picked up in the town of Heres, and two in Kifl Harath.

A statement from the IDF Friday morning read, “The IDF takes very seriously the unacceptable phenomenon of ‘popular terrorism’ which includes, among other things, throwing rocks. The IDF will continue to take determined action, both overt and covert, to guarantee the safety of residents of the area.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered security forces to crack down on attacks by PA residents against Israelis in Judea and Samaria.

Thursday night’s attack led to calls for a harsher approach to rock attacks among top government officials. Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman said the IDF should change its rules of engagement and instruct soldiers to open fire at rock-throwing terrorists.

Rock attacks have caused deaths and serious injuries on Israel’s roads for decades, he said.

Bayit Yehudi chairman MK Naftali Bennett said, “Rocks kill… Some people take rock throwing lightly, and prevent action against them. Rock throwers are trying to murder and they need to be treated accordingly.”