Israelis Protest Rising Palestinian Violence Against Jewish Drivers
On Monday night, residents from the Tekoa community in the Gush Etzion region south of Jerusalem marched in protest of the recent escalation of Palestinian attacks on Jewish civilians driving on local highways.
The protesters, who marched with the protection of IDF soldiers, carried signs with the names of all Israeli victims of Palestinian stone-throwing attacks, and the slogan “I don’t want to be next.”
On Sunday, a mother was driving with her baby from Tekoa to Jerusalem to get rock-proof windows for her car, when she was attacked by a dozen Palestinians wearing masks and throwing rocks; one landed near the baby. Miraculously, mother and infant escaped unharmed.
Yitzchak Newman, a Tekoa resident described the “harsh reality” that Jewish residents of the region now face.
“In general, the Tekoa community has always believed in and practiced coexistence with our Arab neighbors,” Newman said. “The recent events are not only putting our lives in danger, but are hurting us on a personal and emotional level. We feel our mutual trust has been hurt,” he told Tazpit.
In recent weeks, the Beit Sahour junction, which is located only a short distance from Jerusalem, has become a frequent flash point for violent riots by Palestinians. For these terrorists, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at passing Israeli vehicles has become a weekly activity.
The most recent escalation came the day before the demonstration, when approximately 70 Palestinian men rioted in the junction. The riot resulted in several vehicles being damaged, as well as an IDF soldier and two women from Tekoa sustaining light injuries as a result of the stone-throwing.
Davidi Perl, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, said in a statement, “The recent weeks have been marked by a serious escalation in terrorist activity, not only in Jerusalem but in its suburbs as well.” Perl also called upon the Israeli leadership to convene an emergency cabinet meeting to address the issue.
“It is only a miracle that none of the recent security events here ended in a grave disaster,” Perl said.