Firebombs, also known as Molotov Cocktails, are "primarily intended to set targets ablaze rather than instantly destroy them", according to Wikipedia. The attack on Thursday night succeeded. It set the target ablaze. The target is now in hospital, fighting a desperate battle for her life. She is eleven years old.
"The girl, Ayala Shapira, had third-degree burns on her face and upper torso, and her wounds were life-threatening, according to medical officials at the Tel Aviv hospital treating her. The girl’s father, Avner Shapira, suffered minor injuries... Ayala Shapira’s mother, Ruth, told reporters that she was driving the family car on the same road a month ago when it was hit by a firebomb but she was unharmed... There has been an uptick in Palestinian attacks against Israelis in recent weeks, including deadly assaults in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Israeli-occupied West Bank... " ["Israeli Girl Severely Wounded in Firebomb Attack in West Bank", New York Times, December 25, 2014]
Family snapshot of Ayala Shapira, the child attacked by the firebombers on ThursdayAn uptick?! Here's what uptick translates into in terms of the lives of real children and their parents.
Ayala Shapira, the 11-year-old Israeli girl who was seriously hurt in a firebomb attack in the West Bank on Thursday evening, was still in life-threatening condition in the hospital on Saturday evening [with] third-degree burns over much of her body and facein the attack... [The child] has successfully undergone the first of a series of operations, said doctors at Sheba Medical Center, where she is being treated in the intensive care unit[and] is still intubated and sedated. A doctor at Sheba told Israel Radio Friday that they had opened a breathing passage in her neck, where she had suffered serious burns.... Ayala’s mother, Ruth, said the petrol bomb “smashed through the window and landed on her lap.” It set her hair and clothes alight. Ruth said it took Ayala “a while to get out of the car.” It wasn’t clear if her seatbelt jammed. “She rolled on the ground” to put out the flames. Ruth told Israel Radio that Avner took Ayala several hundred meters to their outpost home before receiving medical care... Ayala is the eldest of five girls. Her mother said she is a “very special child” and “smart in an exceptional way.”[Times of Israel, December 27, 2014]She is being treated in the children's ward at Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv, the Middle East's (and Israel's) largest hospital ("1,700 beds, over 1,400 physicians, 2,600 nurses..." says Wikipedia). A senior department manager at Sheba was quoted on Friday saying:
"There are signs that the body's response is good,.. The situation is very complicated. She hears us, and we requested her parents to talk to her and stroke her in order to give her a sense of home,.. I told her parents the struggle will be long, and the beginning consists of stabilizing her, reviving her, and getting her to a state where we can begin to reconstruct her face... In this kind of situation, hospitalization last two to three months, and facial reconstruction can lost even longer. But we are full of desire to succeed and are optimistic..." [Ynet, December 27, 2014]In an update tonight, the surgery is described by Dr. Itay Pesah, a senior member of the ward's medical team, as
"the first in a series of expected surgeries, to treat her burns and to ensure her airways remain functioning... The surgery was successful, and at the moment her condition is stable," ["Critically Wounded 11-Year-Old Firebomb Victim Stabilizes", Israel National News, December 27, 2014]Readers who pray are asked to please have her name - Ayela bat Rut - in your thoughts when asking for Heaven's help. She and her family are on a long and difficult road.
If you Google the name of the village from where Thursday's attackers came, it's easy to see how often rock-throwing and fire-bombing attacks have been launched from there against Israelis. Oddly, no mention of this phenomenon can be found (meaning we can't find it) in any of the news reports about Ayala Shapira and her devastating injuries.
- June 16, 2014: "Two Israelis, one an 18-month-old baby, have been lightly injured in rock-throwing near Kfar Azoun in the Shomron..."
- February 23, 2012: Kfar Azoun - "Three firebombs were thrown at Israeli vehicles, Thursday evening..."
- February 10, 2008: Infuriated residents of nearby Israeli communities used their vehicles to "block the entrance to the Arab village of Kfar Azoun... protesting the frequent rock and Molotov cocktail attacks on Jewish drivers near the city... Attacks on Israeli drivers in Samaria have grown more frequent in recent months, and have injured several drivers."
- May 04, 2006: Border Police "arrested four Palestinian fugitives on Thursday in Kfar Azoun, east of Kalkilya. A gun found in their possession was confiscated, and they were transferred to security services for questioning. One of the fugitives was reportedly a Tanzim operative."
- March 01, 2005: "The four men, nabbed in Kfar Azoun, are suspected of carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel. They were taken for interrogation by the capturing forces. IDF sources have revealed that the men are believed to be responsible for a string of terrorist attacks along roads in the Samaria region. They are charged with planting explosives along the sides of major roads in an attempt to blow up passing Israeli vehicles."
Israeli revenge was not long in coming. It happened Saturday morning:
"A Palestinian baby collapsed while crossing the border between the West Bank and Jordan, prompting the IDF to send a helicopter to evacuate the child to a Jerusalem hospital, effectively saving his life. The six-month-old boy was crossing the Allenby Bridge (King Hussein Bridge), connecting the West Bank to Jordan, with his family Saturday to receive medical care in the Jordanian kingdom when he suffered what doctors think was a heart attack... "We found an unconscious child with no heart rate," MDA paramedics Hashan Aala and Nader Komz told Ynet, explaining they arrived after a local medical team administered first aid. "We began resuscitation attempts and after a few minutes we were joined by a senior medical staff and IDF medical forces which had also arrived at the scene." After stabilizing the boy, the senior doctor and IDF medical forces decided that in light of his serious yet stable state, the boy must be taken to hospital urgently. A representative from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Unit (COGAT), located in nearby Jerico and charged with coordinating between the IDF and Palestinian Authority, quickly cleared the boy for entrance into Israel and he was taken to Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Karem Medical Center". [YNet, December 27, 2014]
We happened to see the IDF helicopter flying over our Jerusalem home at 10:55 am Saturday morning. presumably en route to make the emergency pickup at the Jordan River crossing and bring the Palestinian Arab infant to the waiting and competent arms of the experts at Hadassah Medical Center.An Arab news source names the child as Walid Daraghma (we think they intended to write it as Daraghmeh, a surname that is fairly common in the area) and says that the "incident at the bridge" was "only resolved after an helicopter evacuated the child and his family". It adds that
"His family was issued special permits to enter Jerusalem in order to be able to escort him, as West Bank Palestinians are not normally allowed to enter the city. Sources at the Israeli liaison said that the child, who is from the city of Tubas in the northern West Bank, had previously been treated by a Palestinian doctor in Jenin for a disorder, and he was returning from Jordan where his family was seeking treatment for him at the time of the incident."How surprised are our readers to know that the Arab news report manages to skip mentioning either Hadassah Medical Center or the Israel Defence Forces? The idea that little Walid's life may have been saved by quick-witted, fast-responding Israeli soldiers might be impossibly shocking to the health of some Arab readers.
We're also wondering if those Arab readers or their supporters know of Hadassah's proud record in training Arab doctors from all over the Middle East. And have they heard of the 1948 attack on a Hadassah convoy?How does it make them feel knowing that 30% of Hadassah's child patients are Palestinian Arabs? According to the World Health Organization, 91.5% of applications from Gaza for Palestinian Arabs to receive medical care in Israel were approved in 2012 (an additional 7.2 percent were conditionally approved pending security checks), and more than 200,000 Palestinian Arabs sought and received medical treatment inside Israel that year. Do Arabs in Toubous or Kfar Azoun know this? Or care? They should.
The inner circle of top-level Hamas terrorists most certainly do. We wrote about what they know and what they do here: "18-Nov-13: When Hamas insiders need the best care around, to which Zionist Entity do they turn?", and here: "03-Nov-14: If any Gazans are as infuriated as we are by Hamas fat-cat self-serving hypocrisy, make yourselves known".
The chronic hypocrisy and sickening terrorism-addiction of those who claim to lead the Palestinian Arabs seriously threaten the health and well-being of children all through our region, on all sides of this ongoing conflict.
PS: If, like us, you have tried to find published Arabic-language condemnations of the firebomb attack on the eleven year-old Israeli girl (and no, we don't count statements of the "we oppose all acts of violence blah blah" since their insincerity is so obvious), and failed, then you already know how thoroughly invested their world is in its addiction to terror.