Thursday, May 14, 2020, 11:52 The topic of rock terror made headlines following the murder of Staff Sergeant Amit Ben Yigal, Hy”d, by a rock thrown at him by a terrorist in a town near Jenin on Tuesday, May 12. Honenu has been dealing with rock and Molotov cocktail throwing incidents for many years and recently launched a campaign to put a stop to the attacks. The organization’s attorneys are experts in handling complaints on the topic and Honenu hopes to lead a change in prosecuting attackers, who are frequently not even apprehended.
To assist residents of Yehuda and Shomron and motorists who drive through those regions, Honenu has publicized a video clip (see below) and a guide to reporting incidents which includes: filing a complaint, keeping track of progress in the investigation until the perpetrators are brought to trial, and verifying that they are penalized to the full extent of the law. Honenu has called on everyone who has experienced a rock throwing or Molotov cocktail attack to contact their headquarters so that the terrorists can be brought to trial. See here for a report of an April 2020 rock attack on a Jewish driver in the Binyamin region.
Honenu’s campaign against rock terror
In January 2020, Honenu revealed that the vast majority of complaints filed with the police over rock and Molotov cocktail throwing are closed within a few days, sometimes on the same day, without any investigative action being taken or attempts to apprehend the terrorists. The most common reason for closing a case is “perpetrator unknown”. Honenu explains that this failure stems in part from a lack of communication between law enforcement systems, the GSS, the police and the army.
Complaints and testimonies from attack victims are not transferred from the police stations at which they were filed to the police and IDF units which specifically handle terrorism and which have the authority to enforce the law on the matter. As a result of the disconnect between law enforcement units, military investigation of rock and Molotov cocktail throwing incidents in Yehuda and Shomron is handled separately from complaints by civilians about the same incidents. Due to the lack of coordination many terrorists evade prosecution.
In 2017 alone approximately 6,000 incidents of rock and Molotov cocktail throwing at vehicles on roads in Yehuda and Shomron were reported. Only 15% of them resulted in a court indictment. Honenu: “When an Arab child gets up in the morning and goes out to barrage Jewish cars with rocks, he is not afraid that anyone will look for him afterwards, detain him or interrogate him. And he is certain that he will not be brought to trial.”
In order to rectify the situation, Honenu has the following advice for attack victims: First, call the local security headquarters and summon assistance. Then record all evidence of the attack, the exact location, the direction from which the rock was thrown, the path of the terrorists’ approach, and to where they fled, the color of their clothing, and details of security cameras in the area. All details possible will assist the police in locating the terrorists and bringing them to trial.
Additionally, the scene of the attack, the rocks, damage to the car and any other relevant details should be photographed. Take all of the findings and details to the closest police station and file a complaint. Afterwards, contact Honenu and the organization’s attorneys will closely monitor the complaint and verify that the police are doing their job properly.
Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, the director of Honenu: “Every year throughout Israel there are thousands of incidents of rocks and Molotov cocktails thrown at civilians, soldiers and policemen. Every incident is an attempted murder. Unfortunately the security and law enforcement systems do not recognize them as such.
“Over the past few years we have assisted many civilians who complained to the police following a rock or Molotov cocktail throwing attack, but were sent away with no results. The police routinely close investigative cases within a day or two on the grounds of ‘perpetrator unknown’. Someone who is injured by rocks only because he is a Jew will not see his case properly handled and will not see his attackers penalized.”
Meidad invited the motorists traveling through Yehuda and Shomron to seek assistance from Honenu: “The basic right granted to other victims legally classified ‘crime victim’, the right to see that justice is being served to the criminals who injured them, is not being granted to Israeli citizens who have been attacked by rock and Molotov cocktail throwing terrorists. Honenu Attorneys from our Civil Cases Department will represent the victims in cases against the criminals and help them deal with the authorities who should be assisting them, but are not adequately handling their cases.”