Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Mistaken Identity," Jew Killed by IDF, My Close Call

Early Friday morning Rabbi Daniel Merzbach, my neighbor's brother, was killed as a result of a very tragic "accident," when he was on his way to Ma'arat HaMachpela, Tomb of the Patriarchs, Hebron.  This isn't the first time the IDF has killed Jews, mistaking them for Arab terrorists.

The soldiers' excuse is frequently that the Israelis didn't stop, but one of the warnings we're given is that there are terrorists disguised as soldiers or Jews, and we should be wary about stopping.  As a frequent trempistit,  one who must get rides, I know how hard it is to recognize guess if it's a Jewish or Arab car.  That's why I don't hail cars.  I just stand waiting, hoping and praying that a safe car or bus will come by, stop and give me the needed ride.

Once when I was in a car, a safe car, a large white van with a friend/neighbor driving it, it almost became a nightmare.  As we turned off the main road at the Shiloh Junction, I noticed a few people waiting, so I asked the driver to stop and give them a ride.  Suddenly... like in the movies... within seconds there were solidiers on both sides of the van, at the windows, aiming rifles in our faces.  We looked at them, and they looked at us, and then... as quickly as they had come, they just disappeared.

My "miracle" happened before the 2003 IDF "accidental" killing of Yehuda Ben-Yosef and Yoav Doron.  I wonder how many other close calls there have been.


Hadassa said...

It happened to us when the entire length of Highway 4 was still open to Jewish traffic. We were living in Netzer Hazani and driving guests to Ashkelon after Shabbat, because the bus wouldn't get them there in time to catch their connecting bus. If I remember correctly it was an almost moonless night. About five minutes past K'far Darom we passed what we thought was a patrol Jeep moving slowly. A few rounds fired into the air from a rifle indicated otherwise. There was no barrier in the road and the Jeep was parked in the median strip. The soldier yelled at us for not stopping and we countered back that it was very difficult to distinguish the check point from a moving patrol until we were so close that he opened fire.

Batya said...

Hadassa, I guess we should be thankful to G-d that there haven't been more of these awfully tragic accidents.