An Israeli man who was stabbed multiple times by a Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank on Sunday night said Monday that onlookers at the scene were oblivious to his desperate pleas for help.
The IDF, however, said Monday that the army was alerted of the attack by Palestinian gas station workers.
The victim, Yehuda Ben Moyal, spoke to Army Radio from his hospital bed, where he was in moderate condition with stab wounds to his shoulders and back.
Ben Moyal said he stopped at a gas station on Route 443 — which connects Jerusalem to Modiin — at around 8 p.m. while driving to the capital with a friend.
After filling his tank he moved to top up the air in the vehicle’s tires using the pump at the station. As he was bent over to fill the tire, a Palestinian man attacked him from behind.
“He grabbed the opportunity when I came out of the car, and stabbed me,” Ben Moyal said. “He came at me from behind. I suddenly felt I was being stabbed. I ran and got away from him.
“I ran and fell over, I got up and ran away again, and fell over again. He, of course, was running after me, and at every opportunity stabbed me again.”
Ben Moyal, who is married with four children, believes he was stabbed five times by the assailant.
“I screamed, ‘Help, help,'” he recalled. “I ran to my car while I was still bleeding and I just drove off.”
His companion, who was still in the car, applied pressure to the wound to stem the bleeding as they drove to the nearby Ofer checkpoint further along 443 in the direction of Jerusalem.
He was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the city after Magen David Adom paramedics were called to the scene to provide initial treatment.
Throughout the attack, several onlookers ignored his calls for assistance, he said.
“Everyone at the station was Arab,” he said. “They saw, but didn’t come to help, even after I was stabbed. Until I escaped in the car [the terrorist] just didn’t stop.”
However, IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner offered a different version of the events after stopping at the gas station for coffee on Monday and speaking with workers.
In a post to his Facebook account Lerner reported that according to Tami Boreda Mizrachi, who works at the cafe in the gas station, it was Arab employees at the site who contacted the IDF to report the incident.
This morning, like many others, I made my way to Jerusalem. Today I intentionally took route 443 despite Waze's advice ,…
An eyewitness to the event, identified as Itai, 37, arrived at the gas station moments after the stabbing, and apparently saw Ben Moyal scrambling to get away as the stabber left the scene.
Itai said he saw a man walking along the road, carrying a commando knife. After taking the precaution to lock his car doors, he gestured at the man, who waved the knife at him through the window and them reached to pick up a rock.
Itai drove several meters forward to get out of range and then called the police. An IDF patrol arrived shortly afterward and shot the stabber dead.
Three other men, who were apparently present throughout the attack, fled the scene. Israeli security forces have been searching for them.
Route 443 is a main artery in the center of the country that leads to Jerusalem after dipping into the West Bank near the city of Modiin. It is used by many motorists traveling between the Tel Aviv area and the capital as an alternative to the often congested main highway, Route 1.
In recent days, security forces have been on high alert in the West Bank following the killing of 18-month-old infant Ali Saad Dawabsha and his father, Saad Dawabsha.
The Palestinian infant was killed in the West Bank town of Duma last month in a firebombing attack on the family’s home, apparently by Jewish extremists. His father was critically wounded in the attack, but remained alive for another week before ultimately succumbing to his wounds.
The baby’s mother, Riham, remains in critical condition, while the condition of his brother, Ahmad, was improving on Sunday after 10 days in the hospital.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.