Hebrew Hero: Stabbing Victim Pulls Knife Out of Own Neck, Stabs Attacker to Death

March 9, 2016

2 min read

In an incredible tale of Jewish heroism and strength, a 40-year-old Israeli stabbing victim turned the tables on his Palestinian attacker on Tuesday, pulling the terrorist’s knife out of his own neck and using it to stab the assailant to death.

The attack, which took place in the city of Petah Tivkah on Tuesday afternoon, occurred when the Palestinian attacker followed his victim, Yonatan Azarihab, into a wine shop. Azarihab, who is an ultra-Orthodox father of five, was collecting money for charity at the time. The terrorist attacked Azarihab, stabbing him multiple times in the upper body in what the police called a “frenzied attack”.

Azarihab managed to pull the terrorist’s knife out of his neck and flee the store, at which point the shop’s proprietor tried to subdue the terrorist. Azarihab then returned to the store, took up the knife which the terrorist had used on him, and stabbed the attacker.

The terrorist died within minutes.

Emergency paramedics quickly arrived on the scene, and Azarihab was evacuated to nearby Beilinson hospital for treatment. Volunteer medic with United Hatzolah’s ambulance unit Ariel Peretz reported, “When I arrived at the scene I found a Haredi man with a stab wound in his upper body who was conscious. I treated the wound together with other United Hatzalah volunteers who arrived.”

From his hospital bed, Azarihab, who is in stable condition, told Israel’s Channel 2, “I thought this was it . . . But then I pulled myself together. I understood it was a terrorist and that I had to fight him to keep him from killing me and other people.”

He added that it was clear his actions were guided by God, saying, “I thought this was my last day, but I was given my life as a gift, pure and simple. If God hadn’t wanted me to be here, I wouldn’t be here.”

Ultra-Orthodox Man Fights Back, Kills Terrorist With Help of God

Those in the ultra-Orthodox community traditionally do not enlist or serve in the IDF, making Azarihab’s actions even more incredible, as he is unlikely to have had a military background. Jewish law demands that one is obligated to stop an assailant, or rodef (pursuer), from committing murder or harming others. In this remarkable case, Azarihab fulfilled this sacred law to the utmost.

“I had to kill him, so he doesn’t kill me or others,” he explained in the interview. “I said to myself, as the saying goes, if I am not for myself, who will be for me, and if I am for myself, who am I?”

“Here I am, thanks to God,” he concluded.

The attack was one of three which took place throughout Israel on Tuesday. In Jerusalem, two Israeli policemen were wounded in a drive-by shooting, one critically, and in the coastal city of Jaffa, a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing spree, killing one American tourist and wounding nine others.

In the Jaffa incident, another Israeli man showed bravery in the face of terror by attacking the assailant with his guitar and then chasing him down the street.

The violence continued into Wednesday, when two men in a car attempted to shoot at a Jerusalem bus near Ramot before escaping without harming anyone. The pair then drove towards the Old City, where they opened fire at a light rail stop, critically wounding one civilian. Both terrorists were shot dead by police.

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