Mesika to IDF: Nip 'Third Intifada' in the Bud

Gunfire aimed at an Israeli bus is a significant ramping-up of the security deterioration in Judea and Samaria, said Gershon Mesika

David Lev ,

Dent left by shooting on the bus
Dent left by shooting on the bus
Samaria Regional Authority

The gunfire aimed at an Israeli bus in Samaria Wednesday night was a significant ramping-up of the security deterioration in Judea and Samaria in recent months, said Samaria Council head Gershon Mesika. “This shooting is a worrying development,” said Mesika. “We demand that the IDF develop and utilize the appropriate measures to restore security to residents.”

The incident occurred Wednesday night near the Arab village of Hawara, outside Shechem, as an Israeli bus traveled from Ariel to Elon Moreh. Shots were fired at the bus as it traveled near the village. No one was injured, but there was damage to the bus. Fortunately, the bus driver was able to continue driving. The driver reported the incident when he got to an IDF outpost. IDF soldiers began searching for the shooters. Police have opened an investigation into the shooting.

In recent weeks, there has been a worrying uptick in attacks where rocks and firebombs were thrown at Israeli vehicles, to the extent that many officials in Judea and Samaria believe that the situation could be termed an “intifada.” If there was any doubt that that term could be used until now, however, Mesika said that after an open shooting incident, there could be no doubt as to what Israelis in Judea and Samaria were now facing.

“We cannot allow a situation where ordinary citizens will face life-threatening situations on their way home from work,” said Mesika. “We demand that the authorities take the appropriate measures to ensure safety in this area. In addition, we demand that a road enabling Israelis to avoid the village of Hawara be built. We have thousands of children and adults who use these roads every day,” Mesika said.

The bullet that struck the bus was located and investigators initially said the weapon was probably an improvised one, or a hunting gun. Experts examined the evidence and at one point determined that the pellet was not a bullet. They then went back to the original terminology and called it a bullet.