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The off-duty Israeli soldier who ended Wednesday’s bulldozer rampage in Jerusalem is avoiding the limelight.

Israeli commentators have dubbed him a hero, but the 20-year-old army conscript who grabbed a security guard’s pistol and shot dead Husam Duwayat has refused to take credit.

Television and newspaper reports carried dramatic pictures of the soldier astride Duwayat’s bulldozer but with his face obscured, in deference to a court gag order issued at his request. The soldier’s name was similarly barred from publication.

In a brief statement, the soldier said he acted “in accordance to the precept of ‘don’t stand by your brother’s blood’, even at the risk of getting hurt.”

He also said he had been inspired by his brother-in-law, David Shapira, an army officer who stormed into Jerusalem’s Merkaz Harav Yeshiva as a Palestinian gunned down students there in March, shooting the assailant dead.

According to media reports, the soldier recently enlisted in the Egoz commando regiment having spent two years contesting an army decision not to draft him. He had been blacklisted for taking part in protests against Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

A resident of Jerusalem, the soldier graduated from a West Bank yeshiva.

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