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Injured Toddler's Mother Speaks Out

Shirit Ben-Tzion, whose daughter Avigail was seriously wounded by Arab rock-throwers yesterday, tells of her ordeal: 'They are not human'.
By Ari Soffer and Nir Har-Zahav
First Publish: 11/29/2013, 2:54 PM

Investigators at the scene of attack
Investigators at the scene of attack
Flash 90

The parents of the toddler who was seriously injured by Arab rock-throwers in Jerusalem yesterday have spoken of their ordeal.

Two year old Avigail Ben-Tzion is still recovering from a serious head injury after Arab terrorists hurled rocks at the car she was travelling in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in southern Jerusalem. The incident was just the latest in a string of violent attacks on Jewish motorists by Arab extremists in Jerusalem.

Speaking to Channel 2 Friday, her mother said that despite the seriousness of her injuries, little Avigail was making a slow but steady recovery. Her and her husband, however were still struggling to come to terms with what had happened.

"Avigail will be OK," said Shirin Ben-Tzion, "She has fractures to her skull and we now are just waiting."

"I never thought that something like this could happen," she recalled, "At first I thought it was some kind of accident, but I very quickly realized that we hadn't been hit by another vehicle."

Parademics who arrived at the scene found Avigail in serious condition.

"When we arrived we saw a woman holding a baby aged about 2 years, with a bleeding wound in her head," said Refael Herbst, an MDA (Magen David Adom) paramedic who treated her. "She was unresponsive and in a foggy state of consciousness. We gave her medical treatment on the spot. We were told she had been hit by a large rock as she was traveling in the car with her mother and two brothers, who sat beside her in the car's back seat."

Soon after the attack police arrested 4 Arab suspects aged 15-20 on suspicion of throwing the rocks which injured Avigail. The suspects were brought to court Friday morning to extend their remand.

Referring to her attackers, mother Shirin was scathing:

"I can't even speak of them as human beings. These are people who consiously chose to harm children - I have nothing to say about them," she said.

As soon as she realized the car had been attacked, Shirit immediately focused on getting medical help, saying she had no choice but to stay calm.

"I tried to check on the children, and the moment I saw that my daughter had been wounded I called Magen David Adom and carried on driving."

Avigail's twin brother and older brother who were also in the car escaped without any physical injuries, but were visibly shocked by what had occured.

"My five year old son was very frightened, because he realized something was not right. Her twin also realized something was wrong."

Her husband Assaf echoed her sentiments, and explained that to the best of his knowledge his daughter was not in any life-threatening danger.

"We had never imaged that something like this call happen. It's in the back of your mind, but we didn't think it could happen to my daughter.

"First and foremost we are just concerned with her condition, right now we're just focussing on her recovery. From what I gather it is a matter of weeks - hopefully not months - and at the moment that's all that's important to us."