Daily Israel Report

Firebombs on Bat Mitzva Girls' Bus, Only Arutz Sheva Reports It

Four terrorists hurl firebombs at bus near Hevron, engulfing it in flames, but media ignores story, preferring to cover Jewish graffiti.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/16/2014, 8:43 AM

Firebomb attack (illustration)
Firebomb attack (illustration)
Flash 90

A well-planned firebomb attack on a bus full of Jewish school girls Tuesday could easily have ended in tragedy, but no news source even reported that it took place, except for the one you are currently reading – Arutz Sheva.

The girls were sixth-graders from a religious school in central Israel. They were on a bat mitzva tour of the Cave of Machpela in Hevron, a site recognized by the government as an official  heritage site, when four terrorists ambushed it with firebombs.

The mother of one of the girls, who was accompanying the trip, told Arutz Sheva that the ambush had been well planned. She described moments of horror when the firebombs exploded, one after the other, on the bus's windows, east of the Halhoul bridge, as the bus made its way back from Hevron.

"This was a bat mitzva trip that had been approved by the Ministry of Education, which included a visit to Rachel's Tomb. The buses were bulletproofed and had an armed guard,” she said.

Chananel, the woman's son, whose sister had been on the bus, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday: “Three firebombs exploded on the bus. It was a direct hit. The bus was engulfed in flames and the girls and the mothers in the bus screamed, cried, leaned down toward the floor. There was a smell of burnt plastic.

"This time, it ended without injury. The driver stepped on the gas and the bus was fortified. The traumatic effects are not known at this point... I don't even want to write how it could have ended."

Alluding to the latest incendiary comments by leftist writer Amos Oz, he added: "Neo-nazis are not Nazis and Price Tag must be denounced and we are more moral and therefore a higher moral standard is required of us. Fine. But come on, we had better look reality in the eye and understand how twisted it all is. If I had doubts about the justness of the right wing struggle on this issue, then they are all gone. Leftists, media, government, army, Shin Bet and the other people living in a fantasy world – wake up.”

No Israeli or foreign news source is known to have reported the incident. However, incidents involving graffiti by Jewish youths have been receiving front page coverage and government ministers have called for their classification as terror acts. Apparently influenced by Israeli media and politicians, the United States has also equated the Jewish nationalistic vandalism with terror.

Arutz Sheva was founded in 1988, after Rabbanit Shulamit Melamed experienced an attack on a bus she was in, and was shocked to hear the radio report about the event, which made it sound as if the Jews on the bus had been the attackers and not the victims. She turned to her husband, Beit El co-founder Rabbi Zalman Melamed, who established Arutz Sheva together with Beit El co-founder Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz.

The incident Tuesday in Hevron proves, sadly, that more than 25 years down the line, the problem that made Arutz Sheva necesary has only gotten worse.