Bus Driver Stabbed by Arab Manages to Avert Repeat of July 6 Tragedy

The driver of a Jerusalem-bound Egged bus was stabbed in the stomach Saturday night by a young Arab passenger, but he managed to bring the vehicle safely to a halt.

The assailant was taken into custody after being badly mauled by fellow passengers. Police described him as a 20-year-old resident of the West Bank city of Ramallah.

He had been sitting directly behind the driver, wearing a skullcap and disguised as an Orthodox Jew.

The driver, Shlomo Assor, was reported in stable condition at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, with stomach and chest wounds.

The incident occurred on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway only yards from where an Egged bus plunged into a ravine on July 6, after an Arab passenger wrested the wheel from the driver.

Sixteen passengers were killed and 27 injured that day in what police described as a kamikaze terrorist attack, although the assailant survived.

The apparent attempt to copy that attack was foiled by the bus driver, who slammed on the brakes when he was stabbed, and by a 60-year-old passenger, who grabbed the attacker and wrestled him out of the bus.

Other passengers swarmed out and began to beat the Arab. The melee was broken up by two officers from a police vehicle that by chance had been following the bus.

The Arab was taken into custody and brought to Shaare Zedek for treatment of injuries administered by fellow passengers.

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