Daily Israel Report

Jewish Driver Escapes in High-Speed Chase

Attempted ambush on highway ends in high-speed chase through the hills of Binyamin.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/16/2013, 8:50 PM

Israeli road (illustration)
Israeli road (illustration)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

An Israeli couple’s routine drive home last week nearly ended in disaster when an Arab gang targeted them in a late-night ambush.

Yair Weiss and his wife were relaxed and happy as they set out from the town of Ofra, in the Binyamin region, to their home in the nearby town of Ateret. At around 11:30 p.m., as they approached Ateret, they noticed a car at the side of the road, but thought nothing of it.

“He was going toward Shilo, but when he spotted me, a potential victim, he did a u-turn and started to follow me,” Weiss told Arutz Sheva.

“I was driving down a winding road that’s difficult to maneuver,” he added. The other car tried twice to pass him despite the danger, he recalled. The second time, “I hit the brakes so he could keep going and leave me alone.”

Instead, the other car pulled quickly in front of the Weiss’ car, and an Arab man jumped out, waving an metal rod. “I realized that I had two choices: I could run into him and run him over, or try to get around. It’s a very hard road, with high shoulders… In a split-second decision, I decided to go right.”

Weiss said he managed to pass the other car, surprising both himself and the would-be attacker. “He managed to hit the back door. He was in shock that I’d escaped,” Weiss recalled.

However, the story did not end there. The man with the metal rod quickly jumped back in the car, and the pursuers set out after the Weiss family a second time, driving dangerously quickly. Weiss told Arutz Sheva that if it were not for the fact that he drove those roads every day, he would have been unable to keep ahead of the other car.

Ultimately, however, it was his decision to slow down that ended the chase. When the pursuers saw that Weiss had put on the brakes, they quickly did a U-turn and drove toward a nearby Arab town. Weiss believes that they thought he was slowing down because he had a weapon and was preparing to fire.

The couple wanted to call police, but had no mobile phone reception in the area; an issue that local Israeli leaders have warned could lead to tragedy. Fortunately, they were able to keep driving in safety to a point where their phones could be used.

The two remembered the man who had threatened them, and the car that had chased them, well enough to help police arrest the suspects within hours. The attackers had changed cars, but the man wielding the metal pipe still looked and dressed exactly as they had described him.

“Bring your gun”

Yair Weiss had advice for his fellow Israeli drivers. “I’ve reached the conclusion that apparently they aren’t going to stop killing and robbing us all the time, so we need to be prepared. Travel with your doors locked, and whoever has a weapon, travel with your weapon.

“If I had stopped and he had opened the door, it could have ended very badly… You need to be alert. Notice any car parked at the side of the road, a car that suddenly jumps in… It’s better to have a few false reports, than one case where [a real threat] is not reported.”