Jew drives through burning tires to escape terrorists in Samaria

Rappelling guide Shlomi Lobaton “keeps reliving” the lynching attempt on the road in Samaria when a group of Arab youth hurled rocks at his car while blocking his way.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A Jewish rappelling guide narrowly escaped with his life Friday when he drove through burning tires blocking the road in order to escape a group of Arab terrorists.

Shlomi Lobaton (45), a father of four and a guide who leads extreme adventures for the intrepid, got an unwelcome dose of adrenaline on his way home on the roads of Samaria that he is finding difficulty absorbing, as he wrote on Facebook the next day.

“I’m not managing to recover from the lynching attempt I endured yesterday,” he posted Saturday, along with pictures of his car’s smashed windows. “The images of young Arabs with rocks in their hands who only want to hurt and kill just because I’m a Jew, keep flashing back in my mind.”

The attempted murder took place on Route 505, near the town of Migdalim. Lobaton suddenly found his way obstructed by a bunch of tires that had been set alight, and stopped his car.

“Suddenly, I looked to the side and saw a group of youth dressed in black, with their faces covered, starting to fling rocks at me and get right up close to me,” he wrote. “They broke the back window. Within a second I understood what’s happening and escaped through the burning tires and all the rocks that were being thrown at me.”

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He was luckily not physically injured, he added, “but I was definitely hurt psychologically, and the scenes of the rocks being hurled at me and the youth running at me are not leaving my head. I keep reliving what happened, and what could have happened. I really feel that I was [miraculously] saved and everything could have turned out differently.”

Israelis suffer thousands of rock attacks by Palestinians on the roads every year, mostly in Judea and Samaria. Last month, the Israeli NGO Rescuers Without Borders reported 614 rock-throwing assaults in October alone. There were also 194 tire-burning incidents and an equal number of attacks involving the hurling of Molotov cocktails.

Another tactic Palestinians use to try to cause car accidents is by shining a laser into drivers’ eyes, which they tried 66 times in October, said the Israeli volunteer organization of medics, paramedics and doctors.

Jewish residents of the region periodically protest against the danger they face daily, demanding that the army protect them better from such terrorism.

“Driving on the roads here has turned into Russian roulette,” said one demonstrator at a protest near the Yakir Junction in late October.

“On every trip in the region we are constantly looking to our left and right to figure out where the next rock will come from. It’s already impossible to travel safely with our children,” Omer Baruch said.

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“We intend to continue the struggle until there are zero terror attacks. We will not accept even one more rock,” he added.