An Israeli man who fought off two knife-wielding terrorists with a supermarket cart, preventing them from entering the store, said on Monday night that he didn’t know where he got the courage from.
“It was scary,” acknowledged Mordechai Shalem, the store owner, in a television interview soon after the attack at the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon.
“You see two people facing you with their knives raised. I saw the hatred in their eyes, the anger. I knew I had to stop them from getting in,” he said.
Two Israeli women were stabbed and injured in the attack, one critically. The terrorists then tried to enter the store, were blocked by Shalem, fled, and were killed by a security guard after a short chase, police said.
Security footage showed the two terrorists, clad in black and with knives raised, attempting to enter the grocery store, but being blocked by Shalem, who pushed them away with the shopping cart.
“I don’t know where I got the courage,” he told Channel 2 in an interview inside the store. “But there were children in the store, women. Someone called out to me ‘terrorist, terrorist’. I didn’t think of anything but jumping out to make sure they didn’t get in. That was the only thing.”
Added Shalem: “It was scary. Scary, for sure. You see two people facing you with their knives raised. I saw the hatred in their eyes, the anger. I knew I had to stop them from getting in… I’d stop them with my body. If they’d got in, I dread to think what would have happened.
He said he faced off with the two assailants for what he estimated was 10 seconds. “They screamed at me ‘Allahu Akbar.’ I screamed back at them, ‘Get out of here, you dogs.’ They tried for 10 seconds to get in. I made sure they couldn’t. And then they internalized that the moment had passed. They ran off toward the homes in the settlement. ”
The two terrorists were named as Ibrahim Al’an, 23, from the West Bank Palestinian village of Beit Ur al-Tahta, and Hussein Abu Ghosh, 17, from the Qalandiya refugee camp near Jerusalem.
The settlement, home to some 300 families, is situated alongside Route 443, a major highway leading to Jerusalem, and has been mostly immune to other violence that has rocked parts of the West Bank in the last five months. A Border Police base is located next to the entrance of the settlement.
The terror attack is the third in just over a week to take place inside a settlement. On January 17, a terrorist infiltrated the settlement of Otniel in the southern West Bank, stabbing mother-of-six Dafna Meir to death.
A day later, a terrorist sneaked into the settlement of Tekoa, south of Jerusalem, and knifed a pregnant woman, Michal Froman, moderately wounding her.