On Sunday afternoon, a soldier and resident of Ramat Gan, a Tel Aviv suburb, got off a bus in Ramat Gan and headed for home on furlough. Eyewitnesses say an Arab got off immediately after him and began stabbing the 20-year-old soldier in the throat.
As the soldier ran, bleeding, for a few yards toward the neighborhood kiosk, the stabber ran toward the nearby yards and disappeared.
When the kiosk owner observed the soldier, he immediately recognized him. He quickly called the soldier’s mother, who came running and calmed her son until the arrival of the ambulance.
“Calm down, everything is going to be all right,” the mother reassured her son.
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Shalom Barda, who drove the bus the soldier and the stabber had traveled in, did not notice anything out of the ordinary at first, until he began to hear the shouts on the street.
“The soldier ran quietly, without saying a thing. You could see that he was in shock,” Mr. Barda said. “The stabber ran in the opposite direction, entered the yards and disappeared.” Another eyewitness who was at the spot added: “The soldier was in shock and mumbled over and over: ‘An Arab stabbed me, an Arab stabbed me.’ ”
Hillel Hoenig, the paramedic who treated the soldier, said he had described the stabbing to him and said the stabber came up from behind and injured him with a knife.
“When I got there, I saw the soldier with a cut throat, bleeding.” The [soldier’s] friends who heard about the incident suspected that it was their friend and tried to call him several times. “When we saw that he wasn’t answering anybody, we knew it was him, and ran to the hospital,” related one of the friends.
The soldier was evacuated to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital in a fully conscious state.
Several dozen police officers began to comb the area in search of the escaped stabber, who has not yet been caught. They went into every shelter and warehouse, opened up dumpsters and tried to locate the stabber using the following description: “A curly-haired Arab dressed in a blue shirt and black or blue pants.”
The police forces were also joined by many civilians, who wished to help in the search and a police helicopter was launched in an attempt to track down the stabber.
Dr. Pinhas Halperin, director of the Emergency Medicine Unit at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, said yesterday the soldier’s condition was good.
“He sustained light to moderate injuries, and his life is not in immediate danger. Sometimes there are injuries that are revealed a few hours later, and therefore he will remain under supervision tonight,” said Dr. Halperin.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org