In a scene straight out of a blockbuster action film, surveillance video recorded Sunday evening shows Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat tackling an alleged Arab terrorist who stabbed a haredi man seconds earlier and then wildly attempted to accost passersby near the capital’s City Hall.
The video, which has gone viral, shows the suspect, identified by police as a 19-year-old Palestinian who entered Jerusalem without authorization, swinging a knife at bystanders after initially stabbing a 30-year-old ultra-Orthodox man at a junction in IDF Square.
Moments later, Barkat can be seen rapidly and determinedly walking toward the suspect, as two members of his security detail run to catch up to him. When one of the bodyguards draws his pistol, the suspect drops the weapon and Barkat tackles him to the pavement.
At a hastily arranged 7 p.m. City Hall press conference less than two hours later, Barkat chronicled firsthand what transpired.
“About an hour-and-a-half ago when I was on my way to the office for a meeting, while we were at the junction right next to City Hall, my driver and my team noticed something happening,” he said. “I got out of the car with my bodyguard, and we approached the scene and noticed a terrorist with a knife in his hand.”
At this point, Barkat said, the member of his security team drew his pistol. “Without thinking, my bodyguard took out his weapon, and when he aimed at the terrorist, the terrorist dropped his knife and we immediately tackled him to the ground to make sure that he could not continue with the terror attack,” he continued.
As his bodyguards restrained the terrorist, Barkat can be seen comforting the stabbing victim, whom police said sustained a light wound to his abdomen.
“We gave him first aid and tried to figure out if there was anyone else at the scene,” the mayor said. “When we realized it was one terrorist and we took control of him, and one person was slightly wounded, we waited for the police and waited for ambulances to arrive at the scene.”
The victim was subsequently rushed by ambulance by United Hatzalah first-responders to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, police said.
As important as thwarting the attack, Barkat added, was that “we made sure the city went back to life as fast as possible.”
“Thank God this is behind us,” he said.
“I want to wish the wounded person a speedy recovery, and there is no doubt in my mind that the person responsible for the terror attack will be severely punished.”
The suspect remains in police custody, police said.
Barkat is no stranger to hand-to-hand combat. A former IDF paratrooper and company commander who was shot in 1981 during the first Lebanon War, he served for six years in the IDF before becoming a selfmade multimillionaire in hi-tech.
Meanwhile, after the press conference concluded, one attendee expressed the sentiments seemingly shared by most of the journalists in the room.
“I guess this makes him Super Mayor,” he said.