Israelis facing a wave of nearly daily Palestinian stabbing attacks since September have at times used whatever objects they were carrying as improvised defensive weapons, including umbrellas, selfie sticks and even martial arts nunchuks.
On Monday evening, an Israeli man flung a grocery cart at two Palestinian knife-wielding assailants who targeted a mini-market in the West Bank Jewish community of Beit Horon, an attack that resulted in the stabbing death of a 23-year-old Israeli woman.
Israel’s Channel 2 aired security camera footage captured the dramatic moment Mordechai Shalem rammed the grocery cart into the store’s entrance to try to stop the assailants from entering.
— חדשות 2 (@Channel2News) January 25, 2016
“They screamed at me ‘Allahu Akbar.’ I screamed back at them, ‘Get out of here, you dogs.’ They tried for 10 seconds to get in. I made sure they couldn’t,” Shalem told Channel 2, translated by the Times of Israel.
“There were children in the store, women. Someone called out to me ‘terrorist, terrorist.’ I didn’t think of anything but jumping out to make sure they didn’t get in,” he recounted.
“You see two people facing you with their knives raised. I saw the hatred in their eyes, the anger. I knew I had to stop them from getting in,” he said. “I’d stop them with my body. If they’d got in, I dread to think what would have happened.”
“I don’t know where I got the courage,” he added.
Once they saw the challenge at entering the shop, the attackers ran off toward nearby homes, Shalem said.
After fleeing the store, both attackers were shot and killed by an armed security guard, police said.
But before they were killed, they stabbed and mortally wounded 23-year-old Shlomit Krigman and lightly wounded a 58-year-old woman.
Israeli media reported that Krigman had come to the store to shop for groceries for her grandparents who live in the area. According to the Times of Israel, she was stabbed to death one week before her 24th birthday.
Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the assailants had placed two pipe bombs at the scene, reflecting the extent of planning that preceded the attack. Police sappers defused the explosives.
The attackers were later identified as 23-year-old and 17-year-old Palestinians.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, pointed out that the assailants were praised on Palestinian social media for carrying out the murderous attack.
PA President Abbas' Fatah org announces that the terrorist who murdered Shlomit Kriegman is one of theirs & a hero. pic.twitter.com/DrFa0obhby
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) January 26, 2016
One of the assailants won special praise from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement which called him a “martyr” and “hero.”