Adele Banita, one of the victims of Saturday night’s terror attack in Jerusalem Old City, gave a harrowing account of how the deadly stabbing assault unfolded and how her cries for help were ignored as her husband lay fatally wounded on the floor and she herself was stabbed.
“I yelled ‘please help me!’ and they just spat at me,” said Banita of the surrounding Palestinian shopkeepers whom she said looked on and did nothing as Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi attacked her and her family in an alleyway near Lion’s Gate in the Old City.
The Banitas’ two-year-old son was also lightly injured in the attack. Their infant girl was unharmed.
Banita was taken in serious condition to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem where she underwent emergency surgery overnight Saturday-Sunday. She regained consciousness on Sunday. Her husband died of his wounds at Shaare Zedek Hospital shortly after the attack.
“When we got back from the Western Wall, we felt that something wasn’t right,” she told Ynet from her hospital bed Sunday.
“We started walking fast but the terrorist emerged from one of the stores and lunged at us and started stabbing my husband. My husband is a strong man and started fighting him, he punched him in the face. At that point, the terrorist started stabbing me. Then he went back to my husband and stabbed him again and again. I also fought him, I tried to take away the knife, but I failed,” she recounted.
Banita said Palestinian youths who saw the attack laughed and cursed at her as she yelled for help.
She said that one of them slapped her and another laughed in her face and told her to “drop dead” when she told him she’d give him a million shekels if he helped her get away with her two babies.
“They saw that we were with two baby carriages,” she said.
Banita — stabbed, bleeding and losing consciousness fast — said she used her last ounces of energy to run toward security forces for help.
“I said ‘I’m hurt, my husband is stabbed and my two babies are there alone,’ then I lost consciousness,” she said.
Nehemia Lavi, 41, an Old City resident who heard the screams, came to help and he too was stabbed and killed by the terrorist.
Lavi and Banita were laid to rest Sunday at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem.
In video footage that emerged from the attack, Halabi, a 19-year-old resident of al-Bireh near Ramallah, can briefly be seen lunging at one of his victims — it’s not clear who — and wrestling him to the ground. Adele’s screams can be heard as well as a baby’s wails. The video ends with the sound of gunshots. Throughout, shopkeepers and people can be seen either looking on or running away.
At the end of the video, one man nonchalantly takes a sip of his soft drink as he looks on.
The terrorist was shot dead by security forces at the scene.
WARNING: DISTURBING FOOTAGE