By Efrat Forsher, Yori Yalon, Shlomo Cesana, ISRAEL HAYOM—
A 27-year-old ultra-Orthodox man was stabbed in the stomach by a Palestinian terrorist in central Jerusalem on Sunday evening. The attack, which took place in IDF Square near City Hall, could have ended with far graver consequences had it not been for the intervention of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and his security detail.
Barkat happened to be passing by when the attack took place, and he and one of his bodyguards confronted the terrorist, an 18-year-old from Bir Zeit, near Ramallah. The bodyguard drew a pistol, prompting the terrorist to drop his knife. Barkat and the bodyguard then lunged at the terrorist, pinning him to the ground and holding held him there until police arrived.
“I got out of my vehicle with Assaf and we saw the terrorist with a knife,” Barkat said later.
“Assaf drew his weapon, cocked it and aimed it at the terrorist. The terrorist then threw his knife on the ground. I didn’t think twice and Assaf and I pounced on the terrorist and overpowered him.
“As soon as the terrorist was neutralized, I went to check on the wounded man and to see if there were other wounded people or more attackers. Fortunately, ended as it did. It is absolutely clear to me that had the terrorist continued trying to stab people, he would not be alive now.”
The wounded man, Avraham Goldstein from Beitar Illit, was on his way to a wedding when he was attacked.
“I arrived at a crosswalk and the terrorist came at me from the right,” he said. “I turned and saw him standing with a knife in his hand. I immediately realized this was a stabbing attack. I shouted and I hit him with the tefillin I had in a bag. He came at me again to stab me and I then ran into the crosswalk and called out for anyone with a weapon to neutralize him.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Barkat after the attack and praised him and his bodyguard for their determined action.
At a press conference with Barkat on Monday morning in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said to the mayor, “I want to commend you and express appreciation for the courage you and your bodyguard displayed yesterday.”
Barkat thanked Netanyahu for his “deep committment to the security of Jerusalem.” The mayor expressed hope Netanyahu would continue serving as prime minister “for many years.”