The image of a Border Policeman hit by a firebomb in Hevron has spread on social networks.
In the video distributed by Palestinian Authority (PA) Arabs, the officer, Inspector Shahar Madioni,takes a direct hit to the shoulder by a firebomb that flares up on his body during Arab riots. Within seconds, Madioni calmly extinguishes the fire that burns on his body, thereby saving his life.
After recovering slightly, he told Yediot Aharonot that he was not aware in real time of the size of the tragedy that could have occurred. "Now that I see the video, I understand the magnitude of the miracle. It could have ended differently."
"About 2 o'clock in the afternoon, we were dispatched to an IDF post in Hevron, after reports of dozens of young people rioting," he said. "We arrived at the scene and immediately engaged with the rioters, who threw stones and firebombs, in order to repel them and try to make arrests. We were able to push the rioters back, even as stones were being thrown at us the whole time."
About 40 minutes after arriving at the area, Madioni felt a strong blow to the shoulder. It was a firebomb. "I immediately saw a huge flame in front of me," he recounted in a conversation with the newspaper. "Fortunately, it caught fire on my vest, and I immediately put the fire out with my hands. I estimate it took two to three seconds, during which I felt a strong heat on my body."
"I experienced a miracle. What prevented the fire from igniting me was the protective equipment, including the vest built of flame retardant materials precisely for protection against firebombs. Fortunately, it didn’t catch on my clothes," he said.
Over the course of 2019, Border Police in the Judea and Samaria area made 2,500 arrests of Palestinian Authority Arabs, 155 for throwing firebombs and stones, 100 for participating in riots, 550 on suspicion of participation in hostile terror activity, and the rest on suspicion of criminal offenses.