Ambushed by Arabs in Samaria, a Jew fired a warning shot in the air and then killed an attacker. He faces arrest, despite MK Eldad's protests.
The incident began around 9 AM when a Jewish man was walking along a road just outside the town of Neriah in southern Shomron, towards a compound in which a Kollel [Torah study hall], a school and an army position are located. Just minutes before, two unarmed women had walked the same route and were not harmed. However, the man did not enjoy this luxury; he suddenly found himself facing a mob of dozens or hundreds of rock-throwing Arabs. A veteran of an army combat unit, he shot first in the air, and then at his attackers' legs, but the mob continued to advance. One of his shots apparently killed one of the would-be lynchers.
Shlomi Cohen of Neriah, who arrived on the scene shortly afterwards, told Israel Radio, "They began throwing not only rocks at him, but bricks and very large objects. It was clear that they were headed to lynch him... The whole road was littered with rocks and boulders; it looked exactly like a lynching. He saved his life by acting calmly and coolly."
The commander of the IDF's Binyamin Brigade, following an initial investigation, found that the man acted properly. The case has been transferred to Israel Police, which plans to conduct its own investigation.
A Three-Pronged Attack
The security officer of Haresha, a neighboring Jewish community, told Arutz-7, "This was a well-coordinated attack by the Arabs of our neighboring hostile village, Mazra'a El-Kabaliye. They divided up into three groups: One set off towards the girls' high school, another one went towards the road where they started tearing down an unmanned army watchtower and placing Hamas and Hizbullah flags there, and a third one that went towards the Jewish farm. It was this last group, of several dozen Arabs, that ambushed the man and began stoning him. He fired in the air, then at their legs, but nothing stopped them. He then hid behind some tree there. An Israeli bus then happened by, and he ran towards it to take cover. Meanwhile, someone alerted me, and I called the army."
Shlomo Perl, another resident of Neriah, told Arutz-7 that the army was slow on the draw: "A youth ran down to the army base to tell the soldiers what was going on, but they didn't grasp what was going on. So the youth called Haresha's security officer."
"The problem," the officer continued, "was that there was another incident going on at the same time - an Arab march near Dolev - so it took the commander five minutes to arrive. I also called the security officer of Neriah, and he arrived very quickly."
"When the Arabs saw that our forces began arriving," he continued, "they ran off - taking a wounded youth with them. Then they announced that the youth had been shot dead by an Israeli, and that the funeral would be held today."
Asked if Israelis would be allowed to see the body to ascertain that he was in fact killed by Israeli bullets, he said, "Not likely." He also added that the Arabs of Mazra'a El-Kabaliye had recently uprooted thousands of vine saplings from a Jewish farm, and later damaged irrigation pipes.
The Jewish man who was nearly lynched is a member of the Meretz Kollel from Mevaseret Zion, who arrived this year with his family and some 20 other couples and families to help bolster the social fabric of the nearby Jewish town of Nachliel. He now faces arrest, over the protests of MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union).
Eldad: Don't Arrest Him
Reacting quickly to the incident, Eldad called upon Public Security Minister Avi Dichter to order the police not to arrest the shooter. Eldad also called upon the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria "not to hesitate to use your weapons when you are attacked, because it is now clear that the State, for political reasons, will not protect you."
More Arab Violence Throughout Yesha
In a similar incident near El-Aroub between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion, another Arab rock thrower was shot - this time by an IDF soldier. The Arab was part of a mob that stood aside the Tunnels Highway and stoned cars, lightly injuring an Israeli citizen.
In other incidents, an IDF officer was lightly wounded during a violent Arab riot outside Kalkilye, east of Raanana. The officer was evacuated to a Jerusalem hospital. Arabs also stoned a car west of Ramallah around noontime Monday, causing damage but no injuries.
A passenger on a bus to Kiryat Arba yesterday (Sunday) at 5 PM reported that his bus was attacked with large rocks. Though an IDF officer fired back at the attackers, the passenger said the attackers were easily able to take cover. He further said that the bottom line is that "the lives of Jews like myself are being endangered" unless the IDF takes massive action.