Carjacking epidemic hits 'West Bank'

Monday, February 27, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

Over the past two weeks at least 13 Jewish motorists traversing the highways of Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") have had their vehicles carjacked and their lives threatened by Palestinian assailants.

Most of the victims have been female Jewish drivers, who have reported being forced off the road or otherwise stopped and approached by young Palestinian Arab men wielding knives.

One women told Israel's Ynet news portal that one evening last week she stopped on the side of the road to fasten her seatbelt when another car quickly pulled over in front of her. Within second, the occupants of the other car, young Palestinian men, had opened both of her front doors and were forcing the woman out of her vehicle.

"They pushed me forcibly, but I held to the steering wheel and engaged the car horn as many times as possible," said the victim. "Someone sat in the driver set and forced me out, but the seatbelt was still partially around me. They tried to start driving and were dragging me on the road for several meters before I freed myself."

Another female victim recounted that after being forced off the road a week and a half ago she quickly tried to call her husband. But a young Arab man smashed the driver side window, snatched her cellphone and yelled, "Do you want to die?"

A similar thing happened to an off-duty female police officer late Sunday night, leading to the arrest of one of the carjackers.

Police believe the 23-year-old assailant is part of a gang that is actively targeting female Jewish drivers. With little to fear from Palestinian Authority police, the thieves are able to make good money scrapping and selling stolen Israeli vehicles.

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