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February 28, 2014 1:29 pm

‘Yes, Rocks Can Kill People,’ Says Israeli Economy Minister Bennett While Visiting 4-Year-Old Terror Victim

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett visiting Adele Biton and her family in the Ra'anana hospital. Photo: Naftali Bennett / Facebook.

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett visiting Adele Biton and her family in the Ra'anana hospital. Photo: Naftali Bennett / Facebook.

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday visited toddler Adele Biton, who has been hospitalized for a year because of  rocks thrown at her family’s moving car by West Bank Arabs.

On Friday, Bennett wrote on Facebook,  “Yesterday I visited four-year-old Adele Biton, who was critically wounded a year ago in a terrorist attack when rocks were thrown at her near the town of Ariel. Yes, rocks can kill people.”

The issue of rock throwing was brought to the fore by an Amnesty International report released Thursday  that condemned the Israel Defense Forces as “Trigger-happy,” the title of the 85-page report, for responding too harshly to rock throwing.

The IDF responded that, in 2013, there were 5,000 incidents of Palestinian Arabs throwing rocks at Israelis, equivalent to 75 incidents per day, with half of those along main roads. As a result, 132 Israelis were injured last year, nearly double the count in 2012.

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“Sadly, rock throwing and violent demonstrations present only part of the operational challenges posed to the IDF by Palestinian violence in Judea and Samaria,” the IDF said in a statement. “Indeed, in 2013 there were 66 further terror attacks which included shootings, the planting of IEDs, blunt weapon attacks and the abduction and murder of a soldier.”

In his hospital visit, Bennett focused on the human side of the tragedy’s impact on the family: “[Adele] stays in Ra’anana’s Lowenstein Hospital in a ‘partial’ conscious state. Her heroine mother, Edva (pictured above), left her job as a doctor of chemistry to devote herself full-time to treating her sweet Adele. Every night Adele’s father comes home from work to sleep beside Adele in the hospital.”

“Edva told me how every day (!), for a year, members of the community ‘Ohel Ari’ in Ra’anana prepared her meals,” Bennett wrote. “They visited Adele, replacing Edva for a few hours each day to give her some time to breathe.” The family also has three other young daughters.

Bennett was moved by their neighborly response. “The nation of Israel is just wonderful,” he said.

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