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"Sorry we weren't murdered": Judea and Samaria residents who miraculously survived attempted attacks - afraid and angry | Israel Hayom


Highlights: Judea and Samaria has become a real Wild West in recent months. Shooting attacks without casualties are barely counted in the media, and do not motivate the security forces to take broad action. The "almost" dead and angry residents: "It's terrifying fear - we're like ducks at a shooting range". "If the shooting attack in which I was involved had taken place in Tel Aviv or Haifa, the country would have been turned upside down," says Shmuel Rinitz.

Alongside the resounding attacks and the victims, Judea and Samaria has become a real Wild West in recent months • But shooting attacks without casualties are barely counted in the media, and do not motivate the security forces to take broad action • The "almost" dead and angry residents: "It's terrifying fear - we're like ducks at a shooting range"

Judea and Samaria is burning, and almost no one seems to care. So say those who survived but miraculously carried out shooting attacks in recent months. These difficult incidents received scant media attention, and barely managed to draw the attention of the Defense Ministry and the IDF to the difficult situation on the ground. Now, those who were a step away from being seriously injured – or, God forbid, murdered – are seeking to deploy checkpoints, and perhaps even embark on an operation, without any response or motivation from the security forces.

"If the shooting attack in which I was involved had taken place in Tel Aviv or Haifa, the country would have been turned upside down," says Shmuel Rinitz painfully, "but because the attack happened in Judea and Samaria, we can be stomped on, and God will preserve what happens. The world is silent and the country is silent, and no one cares."

Shmuel Rinitz next to his car, Photo: Roy Hedi

Last December, Rinitz drove on the road between Yitzhar and Havat Gilad. He works in a tannery in Elon Moreh, and on Friday afternoon was on his way to his home in Emmanuel. "Suddenly, I saw a black car in front of me on the side of the road," he says. "As I approached, the vehicle made a U-turn in front of me. I passed him on the left, and marked 'What are you crazy?' with my hand. He could have bumped into me. Seconds later, I heard a burst of gunshots, and my windows shattered. I was shot."

When the security forces inspected the car, they were shocked to find a bullet stuck in the driver's headrest, an inch from where Shmuel's head was. Shmuel travels through this route to this day. "Every time I travel, morning and evening, I say, 'Blessed is he who performed a miracle for me in this place,'" he says. "After the attack happened, the army remembered to put a checkpoint where the terrorists fled to Nablus."

Ducks at the shooting range

Six months passed, and the attack in which Shmuel was involved was forgotten. When he heard about the attack near Huwara last Tuesday, he was no longer surprised. "It's terrifying," he admits. "The government is not doing anything. There is lawlessness underneath all criticism here. We are like ducks at a shooting range. When I drive through Huwara I say a few chapters of Psalms, it's a danger to lives. A full-fledged right-wing government, where have we come?

Could have ended differently. Shooting attacks that ended without casualties in Judea and Samaria, photo: Tzachi Miriam

"We're afraid of what Kamala Harris is going to say, and we're talking about human rights. After all, it is clear that the terrorists have to travel on the roads. We were neglected. If it had happened in Tel Aviv or Ra'anana, it is clear that such an event would not have received the same treatment."

Need aggressive action

Shmuel is not alone. Other Israelis have suffered serious shooting attacks in recent months, and luckily they are alive. But when it comes to relating to these attacks from the standpoint of the state or security forces, their feeling is difficult.

When we ask if they feel that their disguised statement is "Sorry we weren't murdered," they nod grimly. "It's just like that," they say. You weren't murdered - you weren't counted. And if there are no deadly attacks, there is no need to carry out aggressive action to prevent the next attack.

The vehicle was pierced by gunfire - the driver was saved by a miracle

On Tuesday evening, 12 bullets were fired at a Har Bracha resident who was making his way home from Tapuach Junction. The vehicle was punctured, and it is believed that if there had been a baby in a seat in the back seat, he would have been shot in the head. Miraculously, the bullets missed the driver, and the physical damage amounted to a small shrapnel in his back. The windshields and rear panes were pierced with gunfire, the doors, the hood - everything was pierced. This is what a miracle looks like.

The vehicle fired from 12 bullets in Huwara, photo: Samaria Regional Council

We asked the resident for an interview, but he refused. And he's not alone. Two months ago, a Tnufa public bus was traveling from the Migdalim area to Tapuach Junction when it opened fire. The bullets pierced the vehicle, which was not bulletproof, and missed the passengers. About two weeks ago, Deborah Shitrit was driving with her four children on the same road late in the evening, when terrorists opened fire again. The bullets pierced the vehicle - again missing the passengers.

The criticism against the security establishment and the political echelon by the residents of Samaria is harsh and harsh. Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Council, demanded that the government and security forces after Tuesday's attack, for the umpteenth time, replace a floppy disk and operate on the ground – to no avail. "This situation cannot continue," he says. "Israeli civilians are under fire on their way home, in Russian roulette that there is a way to stop it - to restore the checkpoints. We were a step away from another funeral, another bereaved family. This government cannot continue to rely on the miracle. We demand an end to the third intifada that is raging here."

Gallant accuses

On the other hand, Defense Minister Yoav Galant claimed yesterday from the Knesset podium that the IDF is carrying out operations on the ground, and placed the responsibility on the settlers. In response to a question from MK Zvi Sukkot (Religious Zionism), a resident of Yitzhar himself, who passed by the site of the attack seconds after the shots were fired on Tuesday, why the IDF does not launch an operation in northern Samaria and deploy checkpoints, Galant said: "The consideration of how to use dedicated force in the hands of the sectoral commander, for obvious reasons - if he is more stable than checkpoints, he will not have the power to carry out preventive arrests. If he has to evacuate illegal elements from the Israeli side, who make it difficult for him on the eve of the evening, he will not have the power to carry out any other activity."

Galant and Netanyahu in the Knesset (archive), photo: Oren Ben Hakon

Galant claimed that in the past six months all the terrorists have been caught, "and they are in the cemetery or prison - except for those from the attack in the scythe, and that is what they are working on now."

Gallant's statements were met with anger among residents of the area. One of Samaria's WhatsApp groups wrote: "We taught the defense minister a right that he trusts the miracle, and therefore does not set up roadblocks or embark on extensive military activity. It turns out that the situation is much more serious. Our lives are at the bottom of his list of priorities."

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-06-08

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