The widow of Chen Amir, the municipal security patrolman killed in a Tel Aviv terrorist attack, eulogized her husband on Sunday, saying that she was not surprised he had confronted the attacker.
“Chen is the most amazing person in the world. He is an amazing husband. He is a wonderful father to three daughters,” Vered Assayag Amir told reporters outside the family’s home in Bat Yam, the day after her husband was killed.
“I always knew he’d be the first to [engage an assailant],” she added. “In all the previous terrorist attacks, he was always the first to run and search and help. He has a closet full of thank you certificates. He saved lives, he saved people.”
“He was a hero, ready to sacrifice his life to protect his fellow officers and every person on the street, without making any distinction between one person and another,” said Adia, Amir’s sister.
“He had been trying to coordinate a visit to us for two days, and yesterday he came to the kibbutz and brought gifts. He really bade us farewell. Those were the most beautiful hours with him,” she said.
“We know that Chen took the bullets, that he and the patrolman took action. Both of them noticed something was off and they approached. He was very seriously injured and there wasn’t much to do. The injury was fatal,” Adia said.
“Even in previous attacks he was there with his unit,” said. “He was always the first to help an injured person.”
Chen Amir, 42, was killed on Saturday evening during a terrorist attack in a bustling part of Tel Aviv. The assailant, Kamel Abu Bakr, 22, a resident of Rummanah — a town near Jenin — was shot by Amir’s patrolman partner and later declared dead.
Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said the two Tel Aviv municipal security officers approached a suspect they saw walking at the corner of the Montefiore and Nachalat Binyamin streets, where dozens of restaurants, cafes, and bars are packed on Saturday evenings.
The suspect initially refused to answer their calls, and as the pair got off their motorcycles, the Palestinian man pulled out a handgun and opened fire, hitting Amir, according to law enforcement officials.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service said that Amir was critically hurt after being shot in the head. He was taken to the nearby Ichilov Hospital, where medical officials declared his death.
“Chen… was killed while physically preventing a larger attack and in his death saved many lives,” a statement from the hospital said.
Ichilov Hospital said Amir’s family agreed to donate his organs.
The shooting came as tensions have remained high across the region, amid a string of Palestinian terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank which have left 26 people dead and several others seriously wounded since the beginning of the year, including Saturday’s shooting.
According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 164 West Bank Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year — most of them during clashes with security forces or while carrying out attacks, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under unclear circumstances, including in some cases allegedly by Israeli settlers.