JERUSALEM (Sep. 30)
An Israeli army officer stationed in a northern Jerusalem suburb shot to death an Arab who had been about to strike him with an ax and a knife.
The incident occurred Wednesday at a bus stop on the main road leading north from the Jewish neighborhood of Neveh Ya’acov. The officer, a lieutenant who had just returned to his base after the holiday, suddenly noticed an Arab approaching him with an ax in one hand and a knife in the other, yelling “Allahu akhbar” (God is great).
The two began to wrestle. As the attacker moved to lower the ax, the soldier took a few steps back, pulled his gun and fired seven or eight shots at the assailant, according to his own testimony. The assailant died on the spot.
The officer’s testimony was supported by an Israel Defense Force sergeant who was an eyewitness to the incident.
The officer’s name was not released, nor was that of the dead terrorist, on whose body a volume of the Koran was found.
Police Inspector-General Ya’acov Terner, who arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, praised the young officer for his fast reaction.
Last week, a similar incident ended with the death of a border policeman, Avinoam Peretz, 26, at the hands of an Arab terrorist who attacked the policeman at close range.
The deployment of security forces has been stepped up in sensitive areas of Jerusalem, particularly during the High Holidays, which have been traditionally chosen by terrorist organizations for attacks on Jews.