A family from Gush Shilo was caught several days ago in a planned ambush set by local Arabs, who blocked their vehicle with a barricade made of stones and attacked the family’s car with rocks.
Miraculously, the couple and their children were not harmed, but the father was forced to shoot a bullet in the air to drive the terrorists away.
On Monday, when the father arrived at the Binyamin police station to file a complaint against the terrorists, to his astonishment, he was questioned with a warning and a criminal case was opened against him for shooting in the air.
The parents and four of their children, ages nine, five, three, and one-and-a-half were in their car at the time of the attempted lynching. The rocks shattered their windshield and the car was hit by about ten more rocks that inflicted heavy damage.
The mother, Renana, related their experience: “A mountainside on the right and an abyss on the left, and suddenly stones. I shout loudly so my husband can manage to stop. Huge rocks are lying on the road. Right in front of us. There’s no way to get through this. We stop. What to do? Driving in reverse in the dark with our big vehicle on this narrow road is impossible. Half a second later and … boom, stones hit the car.”
“The car shakes with every blow,” she continued her account. “The right side of the car takes more and more rocks, the windshield is shattered, in the back, the children are screaming in horror. ‘Hands over your head,’ I shouted at them, ‘Lower your head, Dad and Mom take care of it. Don’t worry.'”
“Boom, a rock lands next to the window, where our little one-and-a-half-year-old Chen was sleeping. She wakes up and starts screaming to high heavens.”
Her husband, Uri, was forced to fire a warning shot in the air and drove the terrorists back to their village. After calling the security center, the family cleared the stones from the road and continued driving. A short distance from the incident, they discovered more rocks that had been scattered on the road. “A real death trap,” said Renana.
Renna then related what happened when they came to the police station to file a complaint regarding the lynching. “We arrive at the police station together, and the policeman turns to Uri and asks, ‘Do you want to talk to a lawyer before we start the investigation?'”
“‘What? Investigation? Of what?’ We ask. The policeman replies: ‘You will hear about it in the interrogation. It’s about your using your weapon.'”
“We are shocked and stunned. No words to describe this. We were stoned! We fired one lone shot in the air in self-defense and for that, they want to interrogate us and open a criminal case against us? What’s going on here? We expected a hug and support from the police for our action, fill out the form, and move on with the bureaucracy until we can fix what those terrorists had done. And now they’re making Uri a criminal? A criminal case?” Renana concluded her account.
Attorney Nati Rom from the Honenu legal aid society showed up at the police station to assist the family. Following his interrogation, the father of the family was released unconditionally.
Binyamin Council Chairman Israel Gantz also supported and assisted the father of the family and kept in touch with police officials, which helped attain the father’s speedy release.
Attorney Rom said, “It’s inconceivable that crime victims, a family that survived a lynching, instead of receiving all the relief and all the help from the Israel Police, are treated like criminals, a case is opened against them and they need the assistance of an attorney.”
“It’s a topsy-turvy world,” Rom added. “Every night in all the villages of Judea and Samaria there is a massive shooting and the Israeli police do nothing, while a Jew who was forced to defend his life with a single shot, in keeping with the law and in self-defense is forced to be interrogated.”
“It’s absurd,” Rom stated. “The very premise that a Jew who shoots is by definition a criminal must pass from this world.”