Arab stone throwers
Arab stone throwersIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority Arabs attacked Jewish hikers in the Binyamin region on Wednesday, as they were exploring near the Wadi Zarqa valley.

The group of hikers, who were walking near an area where there are springs, suddenly found themselves being hit by a hail of rocks being hurled by local PA Arab residents.

The Arabs then attempted to beat them, the hikers told security personnel to whom they reported the incident, but they managed to fend them off.

Security coordinators from the Binyamin Regional Council were dispatched to the area to investigate and search for the perpetrators. They found three of the Jewish hikers hiding from the attackers.

The hikers accompanied the officers back to the scene of the attack and related their story.

The Honenu legal rights group reports that police apparently believed the Arabs' version of events, in which the Jews were the attackers and they were the innocent victims. Police arrested five Jewish hikers, and advised the Arabs to file a complaint.

Honenu noted that this is not the first time that Jews have been arrested after coming under attack. "The fruits of incitement against the settlers and the religious community seem to have a deep impact. Every time a Jewish child scribbles with a marker it's terrorism - whether it really happened or not - but daily firebomb and rock attacks by Arabs are embraced... It's not wonder that the attacker can turn things around and present himself as the victim," the group stated.

Hikers targeted

In a previous attack on in May, Israeli hikers came under fire near Ein Prat (Wadi Kelt) in Judea. The attacker - a member of a terror cell from Shechem and Hevron with links to a terror network abroad - was apprehended soon after.

 Aed Fahri Marka, a 46-year-old member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), fired at a vehicle carrying the hikers. The bullets damaged the vehicle but did not cause injury. The weapon that was used to carry out the attack has been handed over to the authorities.

Marka admitted to carrying out the attack, telling Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) investigators that he had been in contact with PFLP members abroad, and met some of them in Jordan. 

He added that to his understanding, the terrorists abroad are working under the direction of Hizbullah, the Iranian proxy militia in Lebanon.