Photo: Shutterstock
File photo
Photo: Shutterstock
Israelis concerned as Palestinians ambush drivers and steal cars
Police call on Israelis in Binyamin area of West Bank to refrain from traveling through Palestinian villages following reports of Palestinian gang targeting seniors and women, dragging them from their cars and speeding off; 'I was sure they planned to kill me.'
Israelis in the Binyamin area in the West Bank have raised concerns to security forces amid a rising number of reports of a Palestinian gang carrying out a string of car robberies by ambushing drivers, stealing their vehicles and leaving their terrified victims stranded in the middle of the road.



From statements given by Israelis who have fallen prey to the phenomenon, the same technique is repeatedly employed by the criminals.


The gang stops the car and drags the driver out while threatening him or her. Within seconds, the bandits disappear with the car, leaving the shocked victims lying in the middle of the road.


File photo (Israel Police)
File photo (Israel Police)

Only last month, three incidents of car theft were carried out in the area. In the majority of cases, the bandits carefully select their victim, with most of them being seniors or women alone in the car.


One man who fell victim to the robbery on Tuesday was Moshe Yashar, a 62-year-old construction engineer from Ofra.


“I left the community at 6:30am toward Ashdod. When I got near the bridge of Birzeit a small, white car overtook me and began to break,” he told Yedioth Ahronoth.


“To avoid crashing into him I slowed down and I stopped. I was sure he needed help and that’s why I stopped completely. Two young men got out of the car, one with a club,” Yashar recalled, adding that the two robbers then proceeded to open his door and throw his phone on the ground.


“I was sure they planned to kill me. Within seconds they pulled me by the shirt and threw me onto the road. One of them got into my car and escaped and I was left alone on the road,” he said.


Yashar, however, is one of several victims. Talia Ganon, a mother of four, had her vehicle stolen at the end of last month in a similar fashion.


File photo (Photo: Shutterstock)
File photo (Photo: Shutterstock)


“I didn’t go back to work for a week. Your body really goes through a trauma. When I hear about another incident it doesn’t surprise me,” she said.


Deputy Head of the Binyamin Regional Council Yisrael Gantz said that resources have to be allocated to prevent the phenomenon.


“This is a violent and serious incident which could easily have ended with the loss of lives,” he said. “We will not become accustomed to this terror and we will work with the security forces to catch the gang before they go from theft to murder.”


In order to prevent the robberies, the police conduct enforcement activities in the area. However, they have called on residents to obey the law and to avoid driving into Palestinian areas.


“We ask Israeli citizens to refrain from entering Palestinian villages that are defined as Area A,” police said. “The efforts by the police on this matter are bearing fruit. Since the beginning of the current year, a drop of 18% has been recorded in the number of robbery cases and theft attempts in the Binyamin region when compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.”


פרסום ראשון: 07.04.18, 19:52
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