Israeli Photographer Neutralizes Terrorist in Jerusalem, Six Years After Stopping Another Attack
A Palestinian attacker who stabbed an Israeli bus passenger in Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon was neutralized by an armed civilian — one who stopped a different stabbing attack in the Israeli capital several years ago.
The incident took place in the afternoon near the northeast Ramot neighborhood, when a man in his 40s from Ramallah started stabbing a fellow bus passenger with a screwdriver, according to an initial police statement. The bus driver immediately stopped the vehicle, at which point the terrorist and passengers exited.
It was around this time that Meshi Ben Ami, a photographer for the Israeli news site Ynet, drove by the scene.
In an interview, Ben Ami recounted driving towards Jerusalem’s city center when he saw a man laying atop another and stabbing him. “I recognized it as a stabbing incident,” he told Ynet. “I was a little skeptical at first, but when I saw people fleeing, I understood there was a stabbing incident.”
“Immediately, I stopped on the side, exited the vehicle,” said the photographer. After witnessing the stabber in action and confirming the situation, he withdrew his gun “and ran in his direction.”
The stabber moved away from his victim, later identified as a 41-year-old man who was evacuated to a hospital in moderate condition with upper body wounds. “Then I saw someone throw a stone at [the stabber] too,” Ben Ami shared. “Then he moved in my direction with the same tool he used to stab the person, a screwdriver.”
“He came to me and I ordered him to stop. He did not stop and then he was two meters [less than seven feet] away. I felt a threat, a danger to my life,” said the photographer, who then neutralized the stabber just moments before authorities arrived.
The assailant was evacuated to the hospital in moderate to serious condition, according to Ynet.
This was not the first time the photographer stopped a terrorist in Jerusalem. Some six years ago, he was present at a stabbing attack at Ammunition Hill. “It was a situation in which there were several people stabbed, then he came to me and wanted to stab me,” Ben Ami recounted of the first incident.
Ben Ami’s actions drew wide praise on Tuesday, with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid saying his response prevented additional casualties and Minister of Public Security Omer Bar-Lev commending his “resourcefulness and quick response.”
The photographer was also lauded by Israel Police Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman, who said “the heroism and courage of passing civilians who fought and neutralized the terrorist prevented further harm to innocent people.”