‘Go Figure a Guy I Drank Coffee With Was Suddenly the Enemy,’ Recounts Israeli Who Miraculously Survived Ax Bludgeoning at Hands of Palestinian Co-Worker
An Israeli security guard who miraculously survived an ax attack at the hands of a Palestinian co-worker in a West Bank mall a year ago described slowly putting the pieces of his life back together in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 on Monday.
Zvika Cohen sustained serious wounds to his head and torso last February when a young man he considered to be his friend bludgeoned him with the deadly instrument and left him for dead.
“This was a guy I ate and drank coffee with,” Cohen said with the slurred speech he has been in therapy to repair. “He was 19 — younger than my son. [He would say,] ‘How are you, Zvika? How’s it going?’ We would bum cigarettes from each other… So go figure that he’s suddenly your enemy.”
Cohen, who has spent the past year in and out of the hospital undergoing rehabilitation, missed his eldest son’s induction into the IDF and the bar mitzvah of his middle child. He also has frequent nightmares about the attack, a reminder of which he is faced with every time he looks out his window.
“I won’t go near there,” he told Channel 2, while performing the simple tasks he has had to re-learn since the incident, such as speaking, reading, writing and putting the kettle on.
The attack was committed on February 26, 2016 by Saadi Ali Abu Hamed from al-Azariya, who worked at the Ma’ale Adumim shopping center where Cohen was a security guard. Hamed fled the scene and was apprehended two days later Israeli security forces, who had been alerted by the terrorist’s family members that he was ready to turn himself in.