A 13-year-old Jerusalem boy, who was rushed to hospital two months ago with life-threatening injuries from a terror attack by two Palestinian teenagers, recovered to celebrate his bar mitzvah Thursday at the Western Wall.
Naor Shalev Ben-Ezra was riding his bike in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood on October 12 when he was stabbed by 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra and his cousin Hassan, 15.
The pair also stabbed a 25-year-old man, who was hospitalized in serious condition. Police fatally shot Hassan and a passing car ran over Ahmed, who recovered in an Israeli hospital, remains in custody and is facing murder charges.
Ben-Ezra was accompanied during the festive celebration Thursday by dozens of family and friends, as well as Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Meir Turgeman, and a horde of media reporters. Also there was David Dalfon, a Magen David Adom paramedic who was the first medical responder at the scene of the terror attack, and was credited with playing a key role in saving the boy’s life.
Speaking to Channel 2 television, Ben-Ezra told of his bar mitzvah, as well as the benefits and downside of his recent celebrity status.
“It was a lot of fun, the whole family was together, everyone was dancing,” he said. “It is nice when there are a lot of photographs taken of you, and you are in the news, and all of the Jewish people see you. But it is not so nice when people ask you about the terror attack you were in. It is not nice to recall some sad when you are having fun.”
Ben-Ezra was rushed to hospital after the attack in critical condition, and surgeons performed life-saving surgery. During his time in hospital,Ben-Ezra spent a week in an induced coma hooked up to a breathing machine.
In November, Ben-Ezra was presented with a new bicycle by Jerusalem police.
Ahmed Manasra, the 13-year-old Palestinian assailant, gained notoriety after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas falsely claimed he was an innocent victim and had been executed by police.
Abbas accused Israel of “executing our boys in cold blood, as they did with the boy Ahmed Manasra and other children in Jerusalem and other places.”
The Prime Minister’s Office swiftly issued a statement noting Mansara was alive and had initiated a terror attack, and accusing Abbas of spreading “lies and incitement.”
The younger Manasra “was treated by a multidisciplinary team of physicians, especially neurosurgeons” and received the best care available, Professor Yoram Weiss, the director of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center, said subsequently. “Nothing was spared to take care of his injury.”
Manasra later confessed, saying he “went there to stab Jews,” police said.
He said his accomplice, his teenage cousin Hassan, persuaded him to carry out the attack.
Police released footage showing the two brandishing knives and chasing a man down the street.
Manasra later retracted his confession. On November 10, he was brought to trial in Jerusalem, where his attorneys pleaded guilty to some of the clauses in the indictment, but said the two cousins had no intention of killing the Israelis. The case was expected to last past the defendant’s fourteenth birthday, which would allow the court to hand down a prison sentence.