Jerusalem terror victim wrestled with stabber, say eyewitnesses

Adiel Kolman tried to fend off Palestinian terrorist until police arrived; his mother, Yael, says her son never showed concern about working in Old City

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Adiel Kolman, who was killed in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City on March 19 2018 (Courtesy)
Adiel Kolman, who was killed in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City on March 19 2018 (Courtesy)

Eyewitnesses said the Jewish man who was stabbed to death in the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday tried to fend off his attacker and struggled with him until police arrived.

Adiel Kolman, a 32-year-old father of four from the Kochav Hashachar settlement in the West Bank, was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist who had been issued a temporary permit to seek work in the capital.

Kolman, who was being laid to rest on Monday morning, put up a fight, witnesses to the deadly terror attack said. He was hospitalized in critical condition and died of his injuries on Sunday night.

The killer was identified as 28-year-old Abd al-Rahman Bani Fadel, a father of two from the village of Aqraba, near the West Bank city of Nablus, the Shin Bet said. He was shot dead by police who rushed to the scene on Hagai Street in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City after hearing Kolman’s cries for help.

Kolman’s mother, Yael Kolman, told the Hadashot TV news channel that her son, who was employed at an archaeological dig, was not afraid of working in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, despite the dangers.

“Even though he worked in a dangerous place, he did not express fear or concern,” she said. She said that although Adiel was trained in special education, he worked at excavations the Old City.

“Recently, he spoke with us a lot, as though he knew that he was going to leave,” she added.

A medic rushes to tend to an Israeli victim of a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on March 18, 2018. (Ir Amim)

The bereaved mother recalled how when she first heard of the stabbing on the radio she turned it off, because she knows other terror victims and found it too upsetting to listen to the news reports.

It was only later in the day that her husband informed her that it was their son who had been stabbed.

“He was a great soul; we called him ‘the jewel,'” she continued. “He was a social person, loving and embracing. God plucks the flowers.”

“We will try to be with the children and compensate them for the father who is gone,” she added, referring to her grandchildren.

Yael Kolman said that she drew inspiration from Miriam Peretz, a prominent educator who was declared winner of the Israel Prize on Monday. Pertez lost two of her sons in combat during separate incidents when they were serving in the IDF.

Knife used in Jerusalem stabbing attack on March 18, 2018. (Israel police)

Speaking to Army Radio, Meir Kolman, brother of the victim, told Army Radio the stabbing was a reminder of Israel’s broader security situation.

“This is here an incident that tells our story as a people, they came and killed a lovely man — we must not forget that we are at war with them,” he said.

Kolman was initially identified as a security guard in the Old City. However, friends later said he had worked in the archaeological digs at the City of David for the last five years. He was being buried in the Kochav Hashachar settlement at 11 a.m. on Monday.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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