It’s difficult to imagine a daily reality where a video like the one above – instructing you on how to treat a stabbing victim until emergency medical services arrive – is a necessity. But that’s the new reality in Israel with the recent spate of terror attacks.
With everyday Israelis being called upon to treat and help defend their fellow countrymen, and with pepper spray and clubs selling out in many places throughout Israel, some Israelis are getting creative in their acts of self-defense. In the three incidents below, Israelis employed nunchuks, a selfie stick, and an umbrella to fight off attackers.
On the evening of October 12, a Palestinian attacker boarded the 185 bus in Jerusalem, stabbing a soldier and taking his gun to try to shoot the other passengers. Two passengers fought the struggling terrorist as he grabbed at the gun while choking the soldier with a strap. That’s when Yair Ben-Shabat passed by and saw the commotion. He boarded the bus and hit the assailant with nunchucks he had been carrying for self-protection. The terrorist released the strap and Ben-Shabat helped hold him down till police arrived.
On Tuesday October 13, a terrorist employed with Israeli phone company Bezeq rammed a company car into a Jerusalem bus stop, then got out and began stabbing the people he had wounded.
Matan Choucroun was driving nearby and jumped out of his car, grabbing pepper spray and a selfie stick.
“I saw the terrorist had fallen to the ground and a civilian was aiming his gun at him. I said shoot, shoot, but when the terrorist started getting up, I sprayed him and hit him over the head with the stick,” he told Israeli news site NRG.
In a third incident on Tuesday, in the central Israeli town of Ra’anana, a 22-year-old resident of East Jerusalem came to a bus stop on the city’s main street and started stabbing a man waiting for the bus.
“I heard someone screaming, ‘He’s dead, someone’s killing him!’” Mickey Ruhani, who owns a real-estate office nearby told NRG. Ruhani grabbed his umbrella, ran over to the terrorist, and managed to knock the knife out of his hand. As he fought with the terrorist, two more passersby ran over and together they wrestled him to the ground. The victim, a 32-year-old man, was stabbed in his upper body and doctors defined his condition as light.
All three men have been hailed as heroes on Israeli social media, and jokes about citizens using unconventional and surprising methods to fend off attackers are making the rounds, partially in effort to relieve tensions at a time when attacks are so frequent that many Jerusalem residents are afraid to leave their houses.
These are humorous and sobering reminders that these are everyday citizens being attacked – and fighting for their lives and those of their neighbors and loved ones. Let us continue to pray for God’s strong hand of protection on Israel and her people.