Israeli PM praises photographer who foiled suspected terror attack this week

Meshi Ben Ami intervened when he saw a man being stabbed with a screwdriver


Security personnel at the scene of a stabbing attack on a bus near the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot, where a terrorist stabbed a 41-year old man with a screwdriver, The attacker was shot. July 19, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** רמות פיגוע דקירה

An Israeli photographer who shot a suspected terrorist in Jerusalem this week six years after stopping a different stabbing attack has said he felt it was his “calling” to do so.

Meshi Ben Ami was on a day out on Tuesday with his son when a Palestinian bus passenger began stabbing an Israeli man with a screwdriver. 

The driver reportedly stopped the vehicle immediately, and the assailant moved on to the street. Passerby Haim Naim then threw a rock at the attacker in an attempt to stop him.

Earlier this year Israel was stunned by a wave of lethal terror attacks from March to May this year which left 19 dead.

In more recent incidents, an Israeli was seriously near Bnei Brak and a Palestinian man was detained after allegedly trying to stab policemen on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Mr Ben Ami told Ynet that while driving from Ramot, East Jerusalem: “I spotted a man lying on top of another and stabbing him.”

The cameraman continued: "I realised 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. 

“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 neutralised him."

The attacker was later identified as a 44-year-old Ramallah resident who reportedly held a permit to enter Israel. He was said to be in a moderate to severe condition following the shooting.

The injured bus passenger was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, which said his condition was not life-threatening.

Six years earlier, Mr Ben Ami was also present at a stabbing attack at Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill.

He said: “It was a situation in which there were several people stabbed, then he came to me and wanted to stab me.”

After police arrived at the scene of Tuesday’s attack, Mr Ben Ami was taken for questioning."

They questioned me, they treated me very well, good people," he told Ynet.

"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."

Jerusalem Police District Commander Superintendent Doron Turgeman said: “This is another reminder of the terrorist threat we are facing.

“The heroism and courage of passing civilians who fought and neutralised the terrorist prevented further harm to innocent people.”

Prime Minister Yair Lapid met Mr Ben Ami and Mr Naim and hailed the pair’s bravery. In a statement, he said “were it not for good citizens, many more citizens would be dead in the streets”.

Mr Lapid added: "It is difficult to imagine but were it not for the two of you – civilians would be dead. You saved lives. This is a civic obligation."

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem said the attack was a “natural response to the crimes of the occupation against our Islamic and Christian sanctities in the city of Jerusalem.”

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