Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is being hailed a hero after taking down a Palestinian terrorists in the midst of a stabbing attack outside the Old City of Jerusalem.
The attack, which occurred Sunday evening, took place near City Hall. The terrorist, who was identified as an 18-year-old Palestinian residing illegally in Israel, attacked an ultra-Orthodox man in his 20s.
The victim, Avraham Goldstein, was walking in Tzahal Square when the terrorist attacked him. Goldstein was able to scatter nearby pedestrians by yelling he was being attacked and was able to keep the attacker at bay with his phylactery bag. He was moderately wounded in the attack.
As the attack was taking place, Nir Barkat and his security team happened to be passing by. Security footage shows Barkat (white shirt) wrestling the terrorist to the ground and then handing him over to his security team. Barkat is then seen rushing to the side of the victim.
Barkat told Israeli media that he was on his way to his office for a meeting when he saw the attack unfold. “We saw a terrorist with a knife standing and looking for the next thing to do,” he said.
When asked whether he considered the terrorist might injure him, Barkat responded that he had acted “instinctively.”
Asaf Na’amani, Barkat’s bodyguard who also helped subdue the terrorist, recalled: “From the moment we jumped out of the car, I noticed a terrorist armed with knife trying to cross the street. I told him to drop the knife; he froze in place and then dropped it. The mayor and I jumped on him and wrestled him to the ground. In our world, there’s no such thing as hesitation – there’s only yes or no.”
Aryeh Yaffe, a United Hatzalah emergency volunteer, was one of the first on the scene following the attack. Yaffe happened to be driving nearby on his ambucycle and was able to respond within seconds of the call.
“When I got to the scene I encountered a man who was stabbed in the stomach,” Yaffee stated. Along with fellow United Hatzalah volunteers, the victim, Goldstein, was stabilized at the scene and transported to the hospital for treatment.
Barkat, 55, was elected mayor of Jerusalem in 2008. He served as an officer in the elite paratrooper’s brigade and is a former high-tech entrepreneur.