PA Arab throws firebomb at Israeli forces.
PA Arab throws firebomb at Israeli forces.Reuters

A terrorist attack in the central Israel city of Ramle could have ended in tragedy Friday. A local Arab man hurled a firebomb at a car as a woman and her young children sat inside.

The attempt to burn the car was thwarted when the father of the family, Dvir Koula, appeared in time to put out the flames before they could ignite the vehicle.

Suspects have been arrested in the attack.

The Koula family is part of the local Garin Torani (Torah nucleus group), a group of religious-Zionist families that lives in the city and works to bolster Jewish presence and Jewish tradition in the area. The family lives on Eliyahu Hanavi street in the mixed neighborhood known as “The Ghetto,” where the attack occurred.

Dvir Koula said the attack was definitely an attempt to murder his family, not simply vandalism. It was a miracle that he returned in time to put out the flames, he said.

Previous firebomb attacks on vehicles have caused serious injury and even death.

The Garin Torani in Ramle is one of the largest in the country, with 60 families. Ten of the families live in mixed Arab-Jewish neighborhoods, Koula said. Those families are often victims of Arab harassment, including name-calling, threats, rock attacks, vandalism, and even arson.

The group released a statement in response to Friday’s attack. “Jewish blood is not free for the taking,” the statement began. “That is not just a cliché – we will ensure that Jewish life, and the lives of those in the Garin, is not freely taken.”

The group called on police to “fight to the end against all those who try to bar Jews from living anywhere in the country, including in Ramle.”