Parents of injured teen demand investigation into ‘terror attack’ police call negligence

Tehilla Ben-Zino was struck by a metal bar that flew from a construction site next to her school in Jerusalem.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The parents of a high-schooler hospitalized in serious condition after being hit on the head with a metal bar called for a thorough police investigation Sunday night, as they believe she was a victim of Arab terror.

Tehilla Ben-Zino was felled at the entrance to her Jerusalem school last Thursday when the bar flew from from a nearby building under construction. The 15-year-old was rushed to Hadassah-Ein Karem Medical Center with a fractured skull and internal bleeding.

Her condition is still listed as critical; she is being kept on a respirator, in an induced medical coma, in the Intensive Care Unit. A second operation is scheduled for Monday.

Police had immediately detained about 10 people for questioning, but released all of them by Friday, two of them under restrictive conditions.

Authorities suspect the case was one of serious negligence, having discovered that the site had been temporarily closed down due to safety flaws some six months ago. People had complained about falling objects that endangered passersby, while the workers themselves used no safety gear.

Ben-Zino’s parents, however, say that it was no accident, insisting that the bar was deliberately thrown by one of the Arab construction workers.

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“After hearing testimony from people who were there, I know that the bar was thrown in an arc,” which shows that it did not simply roll off a ledge, Avraham Ben-Zino said on Thursday. “We would be happy if the police and Shabak would investigate. In my opinion, this is a terror attack.”

The parents also noted that their daughter and her schoolmates had been routinely harassed by the construction workers.

Three days after the incident, at a press conference held at the hospital, they pleaded again for an investigation.

“We demand that the police and Shabak get involved,” Avraham Ben-Zino asserted. “Minister of Internal Security, it cannot be that the investigation is so shallow….We demand that the security forces interrogate everyone who was there and that someone should be held accountable.

“How do you send a girl to school and get her back on a stretcher, unconscious and on a respirator?”