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November 19, 2015 3:02 pm

Eyewitnesses Recount Tel Aviv Stabbing Attack in Midst of Midday Prayers: People Were ‘Covered in Blood, Turning Blue’

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Magen David Adom paramedics arriving at the scene of the stabbing attack in Tel Aviv on Thursday. Photo: MDA.

Magen David Adom paramedics arriving at the scene of the stabbing attack in Tel Aviv on Thursday. Photo: MDA.

An Israeli who witnessed Thursday afternoon’s stabbing attack in Tel Aviv’s Panorama building, which left two people dead, described the ordeal to reporters shortly after police ruled out the presence of a second perpetrator on the loose, Israeli news website Walla reported.

“A group of 15-20 of us were praying at a [Judaica] shop that serves as our daily makeshift synagogue,” Shimon recounted. “Suddenly, a man entered who was bleeding profusely. [Understanding he had just been stabbed by a terrorist, and that the terrorist was behind him], we closed the doors. The terrorist tried with all his might to get in, but we didn’t let him.”

Shimon added, “He had a knife that looked like a sword. He was shouting in Arabic and tried to slaughter the men praying. We were lucky, because he had already managed to get half of his body inside the door, but we succeeded in keeping him out.”

One of the men caught in the middle of praying phoned a family member and described the bloodbath in real time, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.

“I am at the scene of a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv,” he said.“We were praying minha [midday Jewish prayers] — because I was at a meeting in the Panorama building. A terrorist started stabbing people outside. We shut the door. He tried to get into our [makeshift] synagogue. There are people here who are seriously wounded. I photographed them. They might be dead. They’re blue. Covered in blood. We didn’t let the terrorist in. Everyone is praying and he’s yelling.”

Israel Bechar, a business owner in the Panorama building, not only witnessed the attacks, but attempted to combat the terrorist. “My worker and I heard screams, and we thought people were fist-fighting,” he told Israel’s nrg. “But then I saw a guy lying on the ground with a man with a knife on top of him. So I took a metal pipe from my parking space and threw it at the stabber. It hit him. But then he lifted his head and started chasing me, waving his knife. My worker pulled me inside the shop and we closed the door. The [terrorist] tried to open it. Then he went to the neighboring shop, but that door was also closed.”

Undeterred, the terrorist kept running, managing to stab another person. At this point, according to nrg, a man who works in the building tackled him to the ground. “I saw him stab someone with a knife. Ron Balissa recounted. “I ran out of my office. I twisted his arms, took off his belt and tied him up with it. I also wrapped his hands and feet in masking tape, and waited for the police to arrive.”

Magen David Adom paramedics who arrived on the scene moments later had to declare one of the wounded men dead. Two other wounded people were evacuated by ambulance, and one of them died at the entrance to Ichilov Hospital.

Later in the evening, the names of the deceased – 51-year-old Reuven Aviram from Ramle, and 32-year-old Aharon Asayev from Holon – were released.

An interrogation of the terrorist by police began at the scene. He was revealed to be Raed Masalmeh, a 36-year-old father-of-five from the Hebron area with an Israeli work permit and a job at Samarkand, a Bukhari restaurant in Jaffa, within walking distance from the site of the attack.

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  • Such sad news. How is this kind of behavior taken for normal and given a free pass in the civilized world?

  • jakob wasi

    Tears may lighten grief. However, as long as Israel won’t reach for a political solution with and creation of a Palestinian state and respect for Muslim and Christian holy sites, the violence will continue and increase. The blood is on Netanyahu’s hands.

    • Richard D. Wilkins

      Mr. Wasi: You are very seriously misguided. Israel has repeatedly offered peace proposals, only to be summarily rebuffed by the Palestinians. It is not Israel, but the Palestinians, who have desecrated holy sites, including their own, in their relentless hatred of Israel and Jews. Aside from all that, these murderous cannot be justified in any way whatsoever for any cause, however noble, and certainly not for this manifestly ignoble jihad against the Jews.

    • HamanSlayer

      Wasi, Which holy sites has Israel not shown respect for? The shoe is completely on the other foot — desecration and destruction of holy sites has been the typical and consistent action of the Arabs. A small handful of acts like that on the part of Israeli extremists — supposedly in retaliation — has been considered and treated as criminal acts.
      As to the two-state solution, the Palestinians have had so many opportunities to have a state since 1948 — and have rejected them all. And, can you really consider a political solution with a Palestinian state headed by Hamas, as they have in Gaza? Please don’t be ridiculous — if you really believe what you were saying, you should get your facts straight. If you are just spouting the line of the far-left-liberal and the terrorist supporters, then you are in the wrong place (actually there is no right place for you, pun intended).

    • Hershel Barg

      Go ahead, Mr. Wasi, blame the victim. That will really solve the problem.

    • Florres

      He means like when there are no Jews, because Arab racism is permissible, and always was.

    • Florres

      You slime destroyed all Jewish sites in dozens of countries for decades. By law, in your system.

  • sidney sands

    To see the murder in Israel by Palestinians, encouraged by Abbas and the Fatah, and Israel still giving help t0 the them with an enhanced broadcast system, which they use to educate their people to hate Jews and murder civilians.

  • Sharon Levi

    Sad all this, but I think no more People from occupied territories are to get permits to work in Israel, they are false and hate us,they want our money and lives.

    Have a nice day

    • Fernanda Keller-Claes

      You are correct.
      No more work permits to Palestinians.

  • Paris attack 153 people died
    how many of the Jewish lives have perished already
    France has taken the gloves off and bombarding the hell out isis
    what are the Israelis waiting for flatten that God damn gaza
    what does it have to happen before getting rid of arabs off our land period
    this is very irresponsible from the government flatten the place once & for all
    what are you afraid of what the world is going to say
    look at France did the world say something it is a justified cause
    and same with us there is just no way out but flatten the place

  • Tony Trenton

    The ‘fake PA’ Muslims that ARE born and bred to revere Death and martyrdom and revered in their Muslim society for the Murders they commit.

    Must be removed from the Jewish Land of Israel NOW !!!


  • Peter Joffe

    How on earth can these attacks achieve anything? Islamist’s want to rule the world but in order to do that they will have to kill or convert about 6 billion people. Do these killers no realize that they are in the minority and that soon they will all be killed??

  • siftit

    When a Jew kills Muslim worshippers, it’s headlines for ten years. When Muslims kill Jewish worshippers, on almost a semi monthly basis, its no news outside of Israel. How hideously skewed is the world.

  • East Jerusalem and Hebron should be cleared of any Arabs troublemakers without any delay.

    Israel must build a community of at least 100,000 in Hebron with a military base nearby.

    East Jerusalem building of new housing for the Jewish people must be accelerated. No toleration of any disturbance. Zero tolerance.
    YJ Draiman

  • It is time to evict all Arabs in Greater Israel who create terror, violence, riot and attack Jews in Greater Israel.
    A Jewish person and any other person in Jerusalem and the rest of Greater Israel; has the right to live and walk in his own country in peace and tranquility without fear or intimidation.
    I suggest a massive demonstration by Israelis, demanding the government to restore peace without fear or intimidation at all costs or be replaced – the current situation cannot and must not continue. The government of Israel must ignore world opinion and the Media; they will criticize and defame Israel no matter what.
    Eventually the world at large respects a government that protects its people.
    According to and under International Law and treaties of post WWI. All Jews have the right to live in any area of the original 1920 Mandate for Palestine (75,000 square miles) and its incorporation and adoption in perpetuity by the “League of Nations”?
    It is interesting to note that the World at large is not questioning the State of Jordan and its territory, which has taken 78% from the allocation to Jewish land. Jordan is a State that has never existed in history prior to WW1. But Israel that has existed on its land for over 3500 years which included “The land Jordan occupies”, they are questioning Israel’s land. They do not mention that The Arabs received over 5 million square miles of territory and that the Arabs terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families and their children, including the confiscated of all their assets, homes, businesses and Real estate 120,440 sq, km. or 75,000 sq. miles (6 times the size of Israel, valued in the trillions of dollars) and that about 690,000 Jewish families expelled from Arab countries were re-settled in Israel’s LIBERATED TERRITORY.
    Arabs are the occupiers; they have 21 Arab States that were granted to them (5 million square miles) after WWI by the same powers that granted the State of Israel (75,000 square miles).
    There is no other term for Jewish villages and towns in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem than Liberated Jewish Territories since times immemorial.

    • Ms Bo Salsberg

      The world is out of options… treating one incident at a time is like a spit in the ocean. Allies of peace and freedom worldwide need to band together and simaltaniously bomb the hell out of Isis and their cohorts. It must be immediate, secret and total. In case you didn’t notice, this is Global War and must be treated as such. Not to be taken lightly, but a giant leap to accomplish total annialation. As much as I feel saddened by prior acts of battle, this must be like Heroshima. The madness must stop because the world is headed for another Auschwitz. We cannot let that happen. We must unite on a global front. Together we are stronger and will win.