A Palestinian teen stabbed two Israeli shoppers at the Rami Levy supermarket in the Mishor Adumim Industrial Park in the West Bank east of Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon.
The 16-year old Palestinian walked passed the security guard who stood by the sliding-glass door entrance checking customers around 4:15 p.m. and used a knife to attack two men standing near the front aisles of the store, moderately wounding them.
An off-duty security guard from the Prime Minister’s Office who witnessed the stabbings shot the teen in the leg. The wounded teen tried to flee, but a number of customers held him down until the police arrived.
Upon hearing of the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called to thank the guard.
“He acted with extraordinary level-headedness, resourcefulness, and bravery. I told him that we are all proud of him.
I told him that even when he isn’t at work – he’s at work, and this is our work – to fight terrorism with the same determination, persistence, and decisiveness,” Netanyahu said.
One of the wounded men, who himself is a Magen David Adom paramedic, immediately dialed the organization’s hotline, even though he had been stabbed in his hand and head.
“There is an attempted terrorist attack. I am also hurt. He attacked me from behind and ran and people ran after him and I heard shots near the entrance,” the wounded paramedic said.
Rutti Dahan, a kindergarten teacher from the nearby Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, said she was waiting outside the supermarket for her husband to pick her up when the attack occurred. As she looked at her two carts filled with groceries, she suddenly remembered she and forgotten the cornflakes and turned to go back inside when she suddenly heard gunfire.
“People ran out of the store and I ran also,” she said, sitting on a bench outside trembling, while looking into the empty store.
Groceries were still piled by the cash registers and in carts that stood abandoned by the checkout counters and large blood stains covered the floor.
Magen David Adom paramedic Fadai Badarna said the two victims were fully conscious when he arrived on the scene.
“One was walking and the other lay on the ground [with a shoulder wound],” he said.
They were taken to Hadassah- University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.
The terrorist, who was from the nearby village of Eizariya, was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Security forces said he had no arrest record.
Police also arrested two additional Palestinian suspects.
Among the scenarios they are investigating is the possibility that the two drove the teenager to the store. Separately, they are looking into the possibility that the terrorist was not armed when he entered Rami Levy, but stole the knife from the store’s deli.
Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel, who was on the scene, called on the Palestinian Authority to ensure that no further attacks occur in the industrial park, which employs some 2,500 Palestinians who work alongside Israelis. Israelis and Palestinians work and shop in the supermarket.
Rami Levy, the owner of the supermarket chain, rushed to the scene. He told reporters the company has done everything to ensure the safety of its customers, and that the terrorists had attempted to destroy a place of coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.
“I won’t let them succeed,” he said.
As he spoke, his employees were busy cleaning up the supermarket, washing down the blood from the floor and returning overturned groceries to the shelves.
The store re-opened two hours after the attack and customers wheeled their carts into the store.
One shopper, Meira Schechter, said the attack would not deter her from her scheduled shopping trip.
“This is my day to come,” she said as she pondered which soap to buy. She didn’t hesitate to enter the store because, she said, attacks such as this one “happen everywhere.”
Dalya Gottfield from the Jordan Valley said, “To my sorrow, the moments just after such an attack are the safest.”
The incident was the second West Bank terror attack this week. On Monday, a young Palestinian woman, stabbed an Israeli man, lightly wounding him, as he stood at the Gush Etzion junction.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.