‘I knew I was witnessing an explosion about to happen’

David Amoyal urged people to get away from the suspicious bag he had noticed near his kiosk, phoned police, but didn’t complete the call.

David Amoyal 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
David Amoyal 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Speaking with David Amoyal on Thursday should not be taken for granted.
The 52-year-old, who on Wednesday afternoon sensed that there was something very wrong about the black bag near his brother-in-law’s kiosk across from Binyenei Ha’uma, distanced people from its vicinity and called the police to report a suspicious object.
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From his bed in the surgical department at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem, Amoyal spoke about his harrowing near-death experience.
“So there I was at my brother- in-law’s kiosk, standing in for him,” he said.
“A haredi youth comes up and says there’s a suspicious bag outside. In instances like that, I usually go out, see what the case is, call the police. This is not rare, it happens all the time, no big pressure,” he said.
“I exit the kiosk, and see three young yeshiva students sitting by the public phones, with a black duffel bag on the ground near them. I got a very bad feeling right away – the bag was brand new, with a shiny zipper and a box-like shape to it. That’s not the way duffel bags are supposed to look.
“I immediately told the kids to get away from the bag, and called the police while distancing myself. I felt as though I was witnessing an explosion about to happen.
“While I was talking to the policewoman on the phone, the bomb exploded. I was tossed back five meters, I saw red, then black. I realized I was on fire – my pants, my shirt.
The phone dropped from my hand, and I started beating out the flames with both hands. I was bleeding from my stomach, my arms, my legs, my body was full of holes from the shrapnel. I started making my way away, and after about twenty meters collapsed.”
Besides the multiple wounds and shrapnel in his limbs, Amuyal’s pelvis was broken by a piece of the bomb’s discharge, and he suffered internal and external abdominal bleeding.
“It’s a miracle I’m alive, it’s all from above,” he said gesturing upward. “I wouldn’t be here speaking with you otherwise.”
Amoyal has no plans to stop working at the kiosk, nor will he change his attitude toward any of the many people who buy there or ask for information about the bus lines.
“I’ll be back there in total spite of them,” he said of the terrorists who planted the bomb. “I will also continue to help people in any way they need, including our cousins,” he said referring to the many Arabs who patronize the kiosk, which in 1994 was destroyed in a suicide bombing.
In an act of humorous defiance, the kiosk’s owner, when he rebuilt it, named it Pitzutz Shel Kiosk (“A blast of a kiosk”).
“I won’t discriminate against anyone,” Moyal said. “We are a chosen people. Not like them,” he said, as he adjusted his broken body in the hospital bed and grimaced in pain.