A photographer for an Israeli news site who shot a Palestinian terrorist who was in the middle of carrying out a stabbing attack on a bus in Jerusalem was honored by Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday.
The photographer for Ynet News, Meshi Ben Ami, was driving with his young son when he spotted a man lying on top of another man, apparently stabbing him with a screwdriver.
“I realized this was a stabbing attack. I was a little hesitant at first, but when I saw people running, I had to act. I pulled out my weapon and started running in his direction. He got off the victim and I saw someone throwing a rock at him,” he told the news site.
The rock thrower was Haim Naim, who was also honored by Lapid on Wednesday.
Ben Ami continued: “Then, he approached me, holding the same object he used to stab the victim. It was a screwdriver. He approached me, and I ordered him to halt. He didn’t stop and stood feet from me. I felt threatened, I felt my life was in danger, and then I neutralized him.”
Lapid awarded the two certificates of appreciation and said, “You saved people’s lives, that is a civic duty.”
“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.”
According to Ben Ami, he was questioned by police after the incident. “I got to keep my weapon. I wish a speedy recovery to the victim. He should know that the entire people of Israel are with him.”
The attacker, 44-year-old Ismail Nimer from the West Bank city of Ramallah, has a work permit that allows him to be holds enter Israel. He is in moderate condition in a hospital.
The wounded victim was transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center with moderate injuries.
It was the second time Ben Ami had thwarted an attack by a Palestinian terrorist, with the first time happening Jerusalem six years ago when an assailant attacked Israelis on the light rail in Jerusalem.
Asked by ILTV whether people should carry firearms, Ben Ami said carrying a weapon is like a “Catholic wedding.”
“It’s more [serious] than your wife and kids, it’s a heavier responsibility than that,” he outlined.
“When you arrive at a scene of a [terror attack] you have to weigh everything 100%, you can’t just whip out your gun,” he said.