Arabs with Israeli citizenship reacted violently Saturday to a traffic accident caused by an Arab driver, who was killed in the crash. They pelted security forces and emergency crews with rocks, for no apparent reason other than the knowledge that they could get away with it.
The accident took at the Musheirfeh junction in Wadi Ara, just a couple of kilometers away from the archaeological site of Megiddo. Police volunteers who were manning a checkpoint spotted a driver who was driving without a seat belt, and talking on a cellular phone. They motioned him to stop over at the side of the road and began approaching his car. Instead of doing as he was told, the driver tried to get away, executing a sudden U-turn on Highway 65 and getting in the way of a bus that was speeding northward. The bus hit the car, killing the car’s driver, Ahmed Jabareen, 21, of Umm El-Fahm. The force of the collision threw the bus into a shallow ditch at the side of the road, which is a major artery that connects the Galilee with the coastal Hadera area.
The bus was reportedly carrying workers from a security-related factory in central Israel. Fifteen of them were lightly hurt in the crash. It is not known why the workers were being transported on Saturday, the Jewish day of rest.
According to the bus’s driver, immediately after the accident, hundreds – perhaps thousands – of local Arabs from surrounding villages and the city of Umm El-Fahm came out to the site of the crash. Instead of offering help to the passengers of the bus, some of them began hurling rocks at security forces, fire trucks and ambulances that arrived on the scene.
Highway 65 was sealed off for a period of time until police cleared the locals from the road. The road was blocked for an entire week in the October 2000 riots, a seditious event that was timed to coincide with the launching of Yasser Arafat’s barbaric terror war against Israel, known by Arabs as the Second Intifadah.