Fatal West Bank Car Crash Caused by Palestinian Stone-throwing

Israel Police confirm Kiryat Arba crash that killed Israeli father and infant son was terror attack despite initial IDF report claiming crash was an accident.

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

Israel Police confirmed on Sunday that the road accident that killed a man and his infant son near Kiryat Arba on Friday may have occurred after a rock was thrown at their vehicle.

Police investigating the death of Asher, who was 25-years-old and his one-year-old son Yonatan Palmer, who were found in their car after it flipped over near the West Bank city, discovered a large rock with signs of blood on it.

Police investigator holds rock allegedly thrown at the car before it veered off the road near Kiryat Arba.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

The Israel Defense Forces Spokespersons Office issued a statement shortly after the crash on Friday in which it declared the Palmers' death to be the result of an accident and not a terror attack.

However, police have now verified that the car veered off the road after a rock was allegedly thrown by a Palestinian at the vehicle.

Representatives of the family and the police reached a deal with the Supreme Court on Sunday afternoon allowing the police to take a sample of blood from the elder Palmers body to compare it with the blood on the rock. The request had been initially denied.
The funeral for father and son is to be held in Hebron on Sunday evening.

The police first requested permission from the court on Saturday night to autopsy the body of Asher Palmer, who was driving in the car with his son at the time of the crash. A representative of the police, Officer Tzvi Moses, said that the investigation indicated that Palmer veered off the road either because he fell asleep at the wheel or lost consciousness.

Moses added that that there were three rocks in the car, two of which entered the vehicle when it flipped over, and one that went through the front windshield. The police said that there was a gash on Palmers lip that could have been caused by a rock, and it is possible that it caused him to veer off the road.

The Hebron District Police are currently investigating 18 cases in which stones were allegedly thrown from Palestinian vehicles, Moses said.

At first, Judge Alexander Ron, whose own son was killed in a car accident a year ago, rejected the request to autopsy the body. He contended that there is no need to conduct an autopsy because it is highly likely that a rock was thrown that scared the driver and caused the accident.



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