Arab rock thrower (illustration)
Arab rock thrower (illustration)Flash 90

The passengers of two Israeli cars barely escaped with their lives on Thursday night, according to the Binyamin Regional Council, after they drove into the Arab settlement of Baytilu. 

A crowd of Arab residents began surrounding the vehicles and pummeling them with rocks after two vehicles entered the settlement - presumably by accident - late Thursday night.

The occupants only managed to escape, according to the Regional Council, after stumbling on an IDF patrol unit and several security officers from the nearby Jewish communities of Talmon, Neria, Nahliel, and Dolev.

The patrol team successfully extricated the victims from the settlement; one was transported to hospital with a concussion. 

News of the attack surfaces on the heels of a spike in terror against Israelis over the past week. 

Rioting and unrest have exploded in Jerusalem since Wednesday in reaction to the murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khder, who was found in the Jerusalem Forest that morning after allegedly being forced into a black car outside the neighborhood of Beit Hanina. 

Israeli leaders - including the mayor of Jerusalem and Prime Minister Netanyahu - rushed to condemn the murder, after rumor circulated that it was the work of Jewish extremists looking for "revenge" over the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha'ar and Eyal Yifrah. 

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, as well as some in the international media, have since repeated those claims as fact.

However, Israeli police have said it is far from clear at this point whether the attack was "nationalistic" or "criminal" in nature, and several reports indicate the abduction was in fact carried out by Arabs as an "honor killing" or another kind of criminal murder, including conflicting testimonies from the boy's own parents. 

Meanwhile, the situation has been worsening throughout the week, with rioters throwing pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and rocks at Israeli forces and the press and shouting anti-Semitic chants

In addition, roughly 40 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel over the past few days, with Hamas declaring late Thursday that they are "not afraid" of threats of IAF retaliation.