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January 2, 2015 1:56 am

Young Israeli Firebombing Victim’s Condition Improving

avatar by Dave Bender

Scene of firebombing of Ayala and Avner Shapira's car. Photo: United Hatzalah.

Scene of firebombing of Ayala and Avner Shapira's car. Photo: United Hatzalah.

Doctors treating 11-year-old Ayala Shapira, severely burned in a Palestinian firebombing attack last week, have brought her back to partial consciousness, Israel’s NRG News reported Thursday.

Ayala and her father, Avner, were driving home from enrichment lessons at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv to their community of El Matan in northern Samaria late Thursday night, when two Palestinians ambushed the vehicle, with one hurling a firebomb through her open window.

Shapira suffered third-degree burns to 30-40 percent of her body, including her face and chest, despite her father managing to get her out of the burning vehicle and carry her into their community, several hundred meters away.

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On Thursday, her doctors decided to lower the dosage of anesthetic she was being given intravenously to numb the pain of her burns. As a result, Ayala entered a partially alert state, and can respond to her environment but has yet to speak, and is still on a respirator.

Doctors at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv said she has a “long, complicated,” rehabilitation ahead due to her life-threatening injuries.

After her condition improved, her mother, Ruth, told reporters “…I got a telephone call – I was told that Ayala has woken up. Avner is standing next to her; he is talking to her, she recognizes him and recognizes my voice on the telephone, and is responding to simple instructions,” according to Israel National News.

“We are simply seeing, this week, the power of prayer,” she added. “We feel that we are being carried up on a miracle, because quite simply, since the terror attack, everything has gone as smoothly as it could have with Ayala. It is simply unbelievable. We ask everyone to continue to pray for her. She is still not out of danger – we still have a long way to go.”

Last Saturday, IDF and Shin Bet security forces arrested two Palestinian minors, aged 16 and 17, as suspects in the case, who the army believes left the nearby village of Azun to carry out the attack.

“We were on the way home to organize a Bat Mitzvah party for a friend of my daughter,” Avner said from his hospital bed. “Suddenly, I noticed out of the darkness they set fire to the bottles, I believed we could evade the bottles without getting hurt, but they hit us and the bottle caught fire. I yelled at her to get out, and in fact we were able to get out.”

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