Amid Tuesday’s onslaught of Palestinian terror attacks, Israeli civilians helped subdue knife-wielding assailants in two of the three incidents.
After Yonatan Azarihab was stabbed multiple times Tuesday afternoon in Petah Tikva corner store, he managed to pull the knife from his neck and use it to stab and neutralize his attacker.
“Its a miracle, I wasn’t at all prepared for anything like that,” Azarihab told the Ynet news site from his hospital bed at Beilinson Hospital.
“I was inside the store and all of the sudden I felt someone jump on me, I didn’t realize what was happening until someone yelled ‘terrorist’ and I saw the knife in his hand,” said Azarihab, 40, a father of five.
Abed el-Rahman Mahmoud Radad, 18, followed Azarihab, who was collecting money for charity, into a shop on Baron Hirsch Street and began stabbing him multiple times in the upper body in a “frenzied attack,” police said.
“I immediately knew I had to engage him so that he wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone else,” the ultra-Orthodox victim said.
Repeating the Jewish proverb “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” Azarihab said he got up and hurled the attacker onto a drinks display in the store.
“He was still stabbing at that point,” he added.
Azarihab said the strength he found to fight off his attacker was God-given.
“If God didn’t want me to be in this place right now, then I wouldn’t be here. I thought today was my last, but I’m still here.”
Several hours later, 26-year-old Yishai Montgomery attempted to stop a Palestinian terrorist on a stabbing spree on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa boardwalk by hitting him over the head with his guitar.
“I saw a man in a grey shirt running towards me after hearing screams and lots of yelling nearby,” Montgomery told Ynet.
“All of the sudden I realized he has a knife. He jumped on the bench yelling at me and trying to stab me so I grabbed my guitar and hit him over the head with it.”
While a blow to the head with an acoustic guitar left an impressive dent in Montgomery’s instrument, it wasn’t enough to stop 22-year-old Bashar Massalha.
“He was so stunned and didn’t know what to do with himself and then started running away,” he said.
Montgomery chased him down the boardwalk loudly yelling “terrorist” as loud as he could until security forces arrived at the scene.
“I knew there were wounded people on the beach, but staying there with them seemed less important then,” Montgomery said.
Massalha killed an American tourist and wounded nine others in the Tuesday night stabbing spree before he was shot dead by police.