Terror shooting in Samaria: ‘It’s a miracle we weren’t hurt’

The government must deter the constant terror on the roads, said Devora Sheetrit after she and her four daughters survived a rain of bullets at her car.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A mother of four who escaped death Monday night after Palestinians directed automatic weapons fired at their car on a Samarian road is demanding government action that will put a stop to the terrorism.

“I think that the government has to act on this issue,” Devorah Sheetrit said in an interview with the Samarian Regional Council media center on Tuesday. “We must have some kind of deterrence force in the region, we have to show them that we control the area.”

“We won’t accept that such incidents happen again, another time that shots are fired at a car, another family that could be hurt,” she added. “We cannot continue to accept it as if it’s just understood [that such things happen]. We must act to achieve deterrence, and immediately.”

Sheetrit recounted the terrifying incident, which occurred as she was traveling home from a family event in Kochav Hashachar with her four daughters, aged 12, 11 and twin 4-year-olds.

“Between Migdalim and Evyatar we hear a volley of gunfire directed at the car; you can’t mistake the rhythm of the noise, it’s gunshots, we know it from the nearby villages where they shoot like that during weddings,” she recounted. “I recognized it and immediately floored the accelerator to escape while shouting at the girls to duck.”

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In a video clip uploaded to social media of the incident, apparently from the car’s dashcam, around a dozen shots can be heard while the 40-year-old optometrist yells at her daughters, “Get down, get down!” and then asks them in a panicked voice, “Are you OK? Are you OK?”

“I told my oldest daughter to call my husband who … phoned the Samaria Emergency Center while on the line with me,” she continued. “They told me to stop at Tapuach Junction but I said there’s no way I’m stopping on the way, I’m going straight home.”

Just after passing the junction, however, she felt that something was wrong with a tire and she was losing control of the car so she halted on the side of the road, she said. A few minutes later security forces arrived and confirmed that two bullets had struck the vehicle, and the tire, in her words, “was completely burned.”

One of the bullets had hit between the car’s hood and front windshield, and Sheetrit knew they had a very close call.

“We are aware of the miracle that happened to us, a very big miracle, that we weren’t hurt…. A few more centimeters and the bullet would have hit me,” she said.

“We’re still in shock,” she admitted Tuesday, “and it will take time to recover.” The four-year-olds didn’t quite understand what had happened, she said, but the older ones did. In her fear, the 11-year-old couldn’t speak or catch her breath after they’d stopped, Sheetrit said.

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Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who met with Sheetrit Tuesday, reiterated the pleas that he makes after every terror incident.

“We cannot keep relying on miracles,” he said. “Just a few minutes from there, Hallel and Yagel Yaniv were murdered [in Huwara]. There are so many terror attacks. Unfortunately, this government has not yet changed its approach, and I say to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense and all the ministers: The government has direct responsibility for the deterioration in security.”

“The ball is in your court, you must flip the way the previous government worked, which brought a wave of terror upon us,” Dagan said.

Two things must be done immediately, he stated.

“The government must reverse the reality and launch a military operation against the terror infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority, which everyone knows is behind this wave of terror. [And it] must immediately restore all security barriers. We paid in blood, we don’t want to continue paying with blood that doesn’t need to be shed.”

“We will not agree that in the center of the State of Israel, precious families like this one drive and feel like they’re sitting ducks,” he added.

“I know that most Israelis,” he said, “are demanding of the prime minister and other members of the government: ‘Get ahold of yourselves already’ … and stop this wave of terror now.”

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The search for the terrorists who fled the scene is still ongoing.