Israeli Toddler in Critical Condition after Rock Attack

JERUSALEM, Israel — An Israeli lawmaker is calling for changes in the way the Army deals with Palestinian rock throwers following an attack in which a 3-year-old was critically injured.

On Thursday, a mother and her three children were injured, the youngest critically, when their car veered off course and crashed into a tractor trailer in a rock-throwing incident along a main highway.

The attackers also shattered windows on a bus with their rocks, adding to the mayhem that wound up with the car partially pinned under the truck.

It took rescue crews nearly half an hour to extract the family from the car. The youngest child, who sustained a life-threatening head injury, remains in critical condition at Rabin Medical Center.

Palestinians frequently throw rocks at passing cars in biblical Judea and Samaria. The IDF said it responds with the minimal use of force to stop the trouble-makers. In a riot situation that would start with tear gas, then rubber bullets fired in the air, then rubber bullets fired at the legs and lower parts of the body of rioters.

Recently, the Army started using low caliber live fire at the legs of key trouble-makers, like those throwing Molotov cocktails, a source told CBN News. And at any point soldiers feel their lives are in immediate danger they respond with live fire.

But that could change if Yisrael Beiteinu chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman has his way.

Following Thursday night’s attacks, Lieberman said the “rules of engagement” need to change and rock throwing treated like shooting from a firearm.

“Only this kind of change will stop civilians and soldiers from being targeted by Arab rioters and prevent disasters such as what happened in the Shomron [Samaria] this evening,” Lieberman said.

The injured mother and three of her daughters, aged three, four and six, were on their way home from visiting the girls’ grandmother when the incident occurred. Their eight-year-old sister stayed home to visit with a friend.

In a separate incident, a man and 10-year-old boy pelted by rocks near the same place were treated at a hospital in Petah Tikva.

A joint operation by Israel Defense Forces troops and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) tracked down and arrested 10 of the suspects overnight.

“Overnight, IDF forces, in cooperation with the ISA and the Israel Police, arrested eight Palestinian suspects for participation in hurling rocks at Israeli vehicles near Ariel yesterday evening. Using precise intelligence, eight suspects were arrested in Haris, southeast of Qalqiliya, and two suspects were arrested in Kifl Haris, southeast of Qalqiliya,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Office reported.”

“Last night’s rock hurling caused a car accident in which an Israeli infant was severely injured, 3 other civilians were moderately injured and one civilian was lightly injured. The wounded were treated by IDF soldiers and Magen David Adom and were taken to a hospital for further treatment. Rocks were also hurled at an Israeli bus, injuring 3 Israeli civilians, who were also taken to a hospital,” the statement read.

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