A nature hike in eastern Samaria nearly ended in disaster for more than two dozen Israeli youngsters Thursday, when an Arab lynch mob ambushed the group and managed to steal the personal sidearm of one of the adult escorts.
One of the 25 children who took part in the hike, which was meant to celebrate one of the children’s Bar Mitzvah, recalled the terrifying experience during an interview with Arutz Sheva.
“We started the hike by walking from Migdalim to Kida,” said Avitzur Libman, a 13-year-old who took part in Thursday’s hike. “In the middle of the walk, after we had passed [the Arab] village Kusra, and when we were already pretty far from Kusra, we spotted this cave.”
As the group passed by the cave, a mob of some 30 Arab terrorists began hurling rocks at the youngsters.
“They started to throw stones at us,” continued Libman. “We had two armed escorts. One had a pistol, the other an M-16 [assault rifle].”
While the Arabs, who had taken up positions on the high-ground above the hikers, hurled rocks down at the hapless children, the escorts ordered the children to find shelter in the cave. The escort armed with the M-16 stood guard at the entrance to the cave, while the other escort went in with the children.
“In the meantime, the Arabs kept throwing rocks. The guard who had remained outside the cave was unable to drive the Arabs off, and went over to the road to signal to some soldiers where we were.”
While the guard who had been keeping watch in front of the cave entrance was off calling for assistance, the Arabs surrounded the entrance to the cave.
“They told the guard who had a pistol that if he put his gun in its holster and gave it to them, they would let us go. He put the gun in his holster and an Arab came up and snatched the gun and threatened us with it.”
At that point, the lynch mob demanded that the children hand over their cellular phones.
“They threatened us with the gun and demanded that we give them our cell phones. Then they threw a stone at the guard, hitting him in the head. He was injured and there was so much blood. They started to scream at us, saying that they were going to slaughter us. They said that they had captured the [injured] guard, and that they would now take us captive as well.”
“We were calling to the army, and we were in the middle of speaking with a commander when [the Arabs] grabbed the guard’s phone and took our bags while brandishing the gun.”
The terrorists then renewed their attacks on the children.
“They threw rocks at us and sprayed pepper spray on us.”
IDF forces finally arrived to rescue the children – but only after an hour and a half.
“After an hour and a half the soldiers arrived. We thought the guard had been killed, and that the [Arabs] were going to murder us.”
“They [the terrorists] told us that anyone over the age of 18 would be slaughtered, and that the children would be taken prisoner. The children were all crying and reciting ‘Shema Yisrael’ [said when a person believes he is about to die]. They ordered us not to speak, and yelled at us – they were constantly yelling at us in Arabic – and threw stones.”
With the arrival of the soldiers, however, the children and the injured guard were rescued from the cave and evacuated from the area.
During the incident, both guards were injured by the stone throwers, as was one of the children. Several of the children were also treated after the attack for exposure to pepper spray.
Two of the terrorists were shot, one fatally, during the incident.