Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Woman Survives Arab’s Attack, Hitting Him with Garbage Bin

March 26, 1993
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A 36-year-old woman who warded off an attack by a Palestinian who tried to strangle her said from her hospital room that she survived by hitting her assailant with a metal garbage bin.

Sophie Porat, a mother of four children, said she was attacked by a masked man Wednesday as she took out the garbage from her quiet north Tel Aviv home.

Porat described what happened when she went down to put her trash in the ground-floor disposal bins.

“Suddenly I heard a scream, ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great), and felt a man’s hands around by neck, choking me,” she said.

“I was born in Lebanon and speak fluent Arabic. I have often thought about what I would do if attacked by a terrorist and instinctively I managed to say in Arabic ‘What are you doing? I am an Arab, not a Jew.’

“But that had no effect, and I grabbed a metal garbage can and jabbed it at my assailant,” she said.

“He released his grip, and I rushed through a back door and knocked on my neighbor’s door. She took me in and phoned the police and called an ambulance,” she said.

Porat could give little identification other than that his face had been covered by a mask, that he was of “medium height, had worn khaki trousers and a green shirt and had black eyes I could see through his head and face covering, filled with intense hatred.”

Recommended from JTA