Family of terror victim appalled as ax assault video goes online
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Family of terror victim appalled as ax assault video goes online

Security camera footage shows attacker hacking at unarmed security guard Tzvika Cohen; victim's brother collapses on seeing the clip

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Security camera footage showing Palestinian  Saadi Ali Abu Ahmad attacking unarmed security guard Tzvika Cohen with an ax, in a mall in the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, February 25, 2016. (YouTube/Alik Maor)
Security camera footage showing Palestinian Saadi Ali Abu Ahmad attacking unarmed security guard Tzvika Cohen with an ax, in a mall in the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, February 25, 2016. (YouTube/Alik Maor)

The family of an Israeli security guard critically injured in a West Bank terror attack last week expressed horror and dismay Sunday as security camera footage of the attack was shared via social media and on the internet.

Tzvika Cohen, 48, who was unarmed, was the target of a brutal attack at a mall in Ma’ale Adumim late Thursday night. He was struck multiple times in the head and upper body with an ax during the attack at the settlement near Jerusalem.

The suspected attacker, Saadi Ali Abu Ahmad, fled the scene and was later arrested by security forces.

“Children are passing the horrible, uncensored pictures from one to the other,” the victim’s brother, Moshe Cohen, told Army Radio.

“You can see there how he let loose on him with the ax. His children are likely to see this. How can you treat a child after he sees a film like this?”

In the grainy video clip, Abu Ahmad can allegedly be seen swinging wildly at Cohen as he lies on his back on the floor trying to fend off the blows with his arms and legs.

The attacker appeared to continue striking Cohen even after he lay prone on the ground.

According to Channel 2, the eight-year-old son of Rahamim, another of Tzvika Cohen’s brothers, was sent the clip of the attack via WhatsApp; Rahamim himself has been traumatized since he was the victim of a stabbing attack in 2000; a cab driver, he was stabbed and critically wounded by a Palestinian passenger. Rahamim collapsed on seeing the clip of his brother being attacked, he told Channel 2 TV on Sunday.

(The video, which includes graphic content, can be seen here.)

The terrorist “crushed (Tzvika’s) head with ax blows,” Moshe Cohen told Army Radio on Sunday morning. “He is still in serious condition, anesthetized and hooked up to a respirator. Tomorrow they’ll try to wake him up.”

Moshe Cohen, whose brother was critically injured when attacked by a Palestinian with an ax at a mall at Ma'ale Adumim, interviewed on February 28, 2016 (Channel 2 screenshot)
Moshe Cohen, whose brother was critically injured when attacked by a Palestinian with an ax at a mall at Ma’ale Adumim, interviewed on February 28, 2016 (Channel 2 screenshot)

A Shin Bet statement said Sunday that it apprehended Abu Ahmad, aged about 20 from the town of al-Eizariya adjacent to Ma’ale Adumim in a joint operation with the IDF and Israel Police.

Abu Ahmad worked in the mall, and approached Cohen to ask him to open a door there, investigators have established. Cohen walked unsuspectingly ahead of Abu Ahmad, and was pressing a button to order an elevator when the terrorist pulled the ax out of his jacket and attacked him.

Saadi Ali Abu Ahmad, the Palestinian terrorist who attacked Tzvika Cohen, an unarmed guard, at a mall in Ma'ale Adumim on February 25, 2016 (Channel 2 screenshot)
Saadi Ali Abu Ahmad, the Palestinian terrorist who attacked Tzvika Cohen, an unarmed guard, at a mall in Ma’ale Adumim on February 25, 2016 (Channel 2 screenshot)

Abu Ahmad confessed to carrying out the brutal attack, the Shin Bet said. A relative of Abu Ahmad called police on Saturday night and said that the suspect was staying with him and that he was prepared to turn himself in, Channel 2 reported.

Cohen remained in very serious condition Sunday. A spokesperson for Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, said Saturday he was sedated and in intensive care after undergoing surgery.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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