Liat Ohana Photo credit: Ynet/Screen Capture: Times of Israel
Liat Ohana struggled with an armed terrorist who barged into her home and attacked her and her mother • Rivi Lev-Ohayon was driving to work in Jerusalem when terrorists jumped on her car and tried to pull her out • Both women fought off their attackers.
“I came home with all my shopping and just as I was about to shut the door behind me I felt a blow. The terrorist opened the door with a thrust of his gun. He grabbed me by the shirt and I thought my life was over,” Liat Ohana, a resident of Kiryat Gat in southern Israel, recalled.
On Wednesday afternoon, Amjad al-Jundi, a 20-year-old terrorist from the Hebron-adjacent village of Yatta, broke into Ohana’s apartment carrying an M16 rifle. The terrorist had snatched the gun from a soldier on a bus, whom he stabbed in the head. The soldier sustained light injuries. The rifle was not loaded.
Police officers called to the scene ultimately shot and killed the terrorist as he was exiting Ohana’s apartment.
Fortunately, Ohana’s children, aged 9 and 10, were not at home during the attack. “I immediately knew that the man was a terrorist. After he entered the house, he went to the kitchen to get a knife. I was so frightened that I didn’t see what he grabbed — apparently he couldn’t find a good knife. At that moment I screamed to high heaven and ran from the house along with my mother,” Ohana recounted.
“I’m sure that he didn’t want to shoot my mother and me, because I think that he did not have any ammunition or a magazine in the gun, and that is why he was looking for a knife to stab us with. I realized that he was an Arab when he said some words in Arabic, but I was so scared that I didn’t understand what he was saying or what he wanted,” she said.
“When the terrorist realized that there was no magazine in the rifle I yelled to my mother to run from the house. He began fighting me and tried to stab me. I didn’t let up at all. I said to myself ‘if he hurts me, my mother will be hurt too.’ During the struggle I grabbed his gun because I was very worried that he would shoot us. I fought like a lioness. I didn’t let him stab me or physically hurt me, and I fought back. When he realized that he didn’t get me, he let go and went into the house. It was at that moment that my mother and I were able to flee. We ran for our lives.”
Ohana’s husband Yaron added that “suddenly I got a call from my wife telling me that there was a terrorist in the house. I panicked, because my wife and my mother in law were alone in the house — two women facing an armed terrorist is a truly unpleasant situation. Luckily, the terrorist’s gun was not loaded.”
“It is very fortunate that this did not happen during the holiday break. Frankly, this incident could have ended very differently and we feel very upset. When my wife called I thought that the worst had happened, but thank god the police acted professionally and neutralized the terrorist.”
A child living in the Ohanas’ apartment building witnessed the incident and recounted that “we were home. At around 1:30 p.m. we heard yelling outside and we saw people running out of a bus. My brother, who saw the terrorist run into our building with a gun, told my dad. We immediately locked our door. We even saw the terrorist on our floor — my dad saw him through the peep hole in the door. He was holding a weapon.”
“My father called the police and they arrived. We saw a lot of police cars. After a few seconds we saw the police enter the building and then we heard a few shots. It was really scary,” he said.
Omer Ohayon, a passenger on the bus that the terrorist took to Kiryat Gat, said that “the soldier and the terrorist yelled at each other. The terrorist spoke Arabic. The passengers started yelling out of panic, ‘Terrorist, terrorist!’ and others called for the driver to stop. The driver stopped and opened all the doors and everyone fled. The soldier continued struggling with the terrorist until he managed to wrestle it from him.”
According to eyewitness accounts, the terrorist also confronted the driver, who kicked the terrorist in the chest prompting him to flee into the apartment building.
“I saw death before my eyes”
Just like every other morning, attorney Rivi Lev-Ohayon drove from her home in Tekoa to her office in Jerusalem on Wednesday. But this time, this routine drive was life threatening.
Rivi, together with seven other drivers, came under attack in a terrorist ambush in near Beit Sahour. Her car was pelted with rocks and an angry mob almost succeeded in yanking her out of her vehicle and lynching her. Luckily she managed to get away, sustaining only light injuries. Another person was lightly hurt in the face.
“I arrived at the Beit Sahour area and about 50 meters (160 feet) from the Border Police checkpoint I saw a group of masked assailants. I told myself that my number had come up,” Rivi recounted the terror from her hospital bed in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
“I took a U-turn to get away from them and then about ten of them jumped on my car and threw rocks. One of them opened the car door and I thought they were going to lynch me. It was a miracle that I was spared,” she said.
“He kicked me in the arm, the legs and the thighs. After he backed off I managed to lock the doors and fled. I hit the gas pedal and went back to Tekoa. I was hysterical.”
In fact, Lev-Ohayon had imagined the worst. “I saw death right before my eyes. My head was bleeding. They had murder in their eyes and only one of them yelled out, ‘Halas!’ [Stop!].”
“It was a miracle that I wasn’t lynched,” she went on to say. “The moment they attacked me I said to myself ‘that’s it. I’m dead. My daughters will not have a mother.’ I have three little girls. I felt that I have to live, for my family. My head was split open from the assault and I have a bruise on my arm, swelling and internal bleeding and my jaw is swollen.”
Luckily, Lev-Ohayon managed to flee her attackers. “I sped away from there and made my way to the Tekoa checkpoint. On the way a Border Police vehicle passed by me and I honked to get their attention but they didn’t notice so I kept driving to Tekoa. I received initial medical care at the Tekoa gates.”
Lev-Ohayon remarked that she didn’t know how she will get to her office in Jerusalem from now on. “It is a difficult feeling. My home is in Tekoa and my work is in Jerusalem. How am I supposed to get to Jerusalem? The situation is unbearable.”
“They attacked me from every direction. From now on I will only drive with armored windows and I will always remember to lock the car doors. I will not drive in a car that is not armored. I am terrified of driving home from the hospital. If this happened right under the noses of the Border Police, it could easily happen again. This is life and death.”
Several hours after the incident, Palestinians reported that two Palestinians had been seriously hurt by settler fire near Beit Sahour. They later changed their story to two Palestinians lightly hurt. A closer investigation revealed that an Israeli driver who was also pelted with rocks had gotten out of his car and fired into the air, then immediately driving to the checkpoint and reporting the events. Read more at Israel Hayom.