A woman and her three daughters were injured on Thursday in a car accident caused by stones hurled by Palestinians on Route 5 connecting Tel Aviv and Ariel.
One of the girls, three-year-old Adele, was critically wounded, while the mother, Adva Biton, 40, and her two other daughters, Avigail and Naama - ages four and five - sustained moderate injuries.
- Silwan's Jews subjected to repeated attacks
- West Bank: 2 settlers, soldier injured by stones
- Palestinian injured in clash with IDF dies
A truck that veered off course crashed into the woman's car which also swerved as a result of stone throwing. The truck driver was lightly injured. A bus was also hit by stones with its driver sustaining light injuries.
Medics evacuated the four-year-old girl to the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and the additional victims were taken to the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
The four were on their way back from a visit to their grandmother, Martine Elmakayes. Biton's fourth daughter, eight-year-old Moriya, did not join them as she was visiting a friend.
Scene of crash (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Remains of the car (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
The Shai District Police confirmed that stones had been hurled at vehicles traveling on Route 5.
Doctors at the Rabin Medical Center said that Adele suffered a serious head injury and was taken straight into surgery upon her arrival. "We are doing everything to save her," said Dr. Oleg Kaminsky.
Adva Biton and her daughters (Reproduction photo courtesy of Shomron Regional Council)
In the meanwhile, the IDF and Shin Ben are still searching for the Palestinians that hurled the stones. It is believed they used a point overlooking Route 5, near Ariel, to hurl the stones and then fled to one of the nearby villages.
Several hours later it was reported that a man and a 10-year-old boy were lightly injured by stones hurled at them on the same road. They were taken to the Hasharon Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
The truck driver told police at the scene that he pulled over after he heard a thud, thinking it was the result of a flat tire.
Forces at the scene (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
"At that point I noticed the stones on the road," the driver said, "and when I came back to the truck I realized that the car had crashed into the truck and was basically buried under the truck."
A few hours after the accident, residents of the area started to arrive at the scene of the crash to pray for the health of the toddler, reading from the Book of Psalms and protesting stones hurling.
Residents of Yakir and Ariel praying for victims (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council, visited the Biton family at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva. "The entire Israeli people is with you, praying for the recovery of the injured," Mesika said. "The unjust policy that insists on categorizing stone hurling as disorderly conduct rather than as terror is completely irresponsible."
According to Mesika, "In the past couple of months, incidents of stone hurling have become more prevalent, but with no response – due to restrictions that politicians have imposed on the IDF. It's about time we come to terms with the fact that a stone can kill. We must view stone hurling as terror."
Rabbi Aharon Cohen of the Yakir settlement, in which the family resides, said that the family was inflicted by "terror that has been growing more frequent over the last few weeks – terror that some have been taking lightly."
In November, Ziona Kalla, wife of singer Itzik Kalla, sustained serious injuries as a result of stones hurled at her car near Beitar Illit in the West Bank.
Defense officials said that stone attacks have increased in the past few months and are now a form of popular terrorism. The IDF has placed traps in key points and stepped up its patrols in the West Bank to combat the phenomenon.
Boaz Fyler contributed to this report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop