Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday honored two civilians who brought to an end a suspected terror stabbing in Jerusalem that left one victim moderately injured.
During the attack Tuesday, a 41-year-old man was stabbed in the head by the Palestinian attacker, also in his 40s, while traveling on bus line 137 near the Ramot Junction. According to police, the assailant attacked the man on the bus with a screwdriver during the ride, as the bus left Ramot. The driver then halted and the passengers fled the bus, police said.
Haim Naim confronted the attacker by throwing a rock at him. Meshi Ben Ami arrived moments later, drew a handgun and shot the stabber, causing him moderate injuries.
“You saved people’s lives, that is a civic duty,” Lapid told the pair as he awarded them certificates of appreciation, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
“It is hard to comprehend, if not for the two of you, civilians would have died,” Lapid said. “A country needs to know how to thank its civilians. This is a tribute on behalf of the country, and thank you both.”
The Israeli victim was taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, which said his condition was not life-threatening.
Ben Ami, a Ynet news site photographer, noticed the incident shortly before police arrived at the scene.
“I got out of the car, loaded my gun and realized it was a terror attack. The stabber came to me, I did not hesitate and fired one bullet at him. I heard him praying in Arabic,” Ben Ami told the Kan public broadcaster.
The suspected stabber was taken to a hospital, where he was listed as being in moderate condition, police said. The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Thursday extended his remand until Sunday, and police were likely to request a further extension next week.
A defense official told The Times of Israel that the stabber had a permit to enter Israel, but did not carry a BMC (businessman card) permit given to senior Palestinian businesspeople, as several Hebrew-language media outlets had previously reported. Rather, the brother of the assailant had a BMC permit, the official said.
Earlier this month, a Palestinian man was arrested for allegedly attacking and seriously wounding an Israeli man near the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak. Last month, a Palestinian man was detained on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City after he allegedly attempted to stab officers before fleeing the scene.
Between mid-March and the beginning of May, a string of deadly attacks across Israel and the West Bank left 19 people dead.