Israel’s Channel 1 television obtained dramatic footage showing a 13-year-old girl moments after she was stopped by an armed civilian as she was allegedly on her way to stab Israelis.
The teen was approaching the entrance to the West Bank Jewish community of Karmei Tzur on Tuesday carrying her school backpack on her back and in her hand a knife, the eyewitness and hero of the day said.
Amos Shimon Cohen, described by Channel 1 as an “alert citizen who happened to be passing by,” saw the teenager and called on her to stop.
He said he tried to negotiate with her to drop her weapon and then physically overpowered her.
“The moment she dropped her knife, I laid her down on the ground and cuffed her,” he said.
A man off camera could be heard asking her in Arabic, “Why are you here? To kill Jews?”
To this she allegedly answered, “Yeah” and nodded her head affirmatively.
Cohen was armed with a pistol, but chose not to use it.
“That situation is really, really difficult. You have an emotional and mental dilemma about what to do. To stand opposite a 13-year-old girl who by all accounts has a knife in her hand and is a terrorist and she’s coming to kill, like she told me. And on the other hand, this is a 13-year-old girl,” Cohen told Channel 1 which obtained exclusive video of Cohen guarding the girl after he tied her hands behind her back with flexicuffs.
The first minute of this Hebrew report from the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s Channel 1 News includes those images:
These photos of the girl and the typical schoolgirl’s backpack (with the atypical knife) circulated on Israeli and Palestinian social media:
TERROR ATTACK FOILED: Arab woman planning stabbing attack in Karmei Tzur area, caught with large knife by Police. pic.twitter.com/xfBwLnscoM
— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) February 9, 2016
The pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon noticed in photos posted on an Arabic website that the teen’s shirt which was decorated with a bunny also appeared to feature the script, “I Love You.”
Israel has faced a 5-month wave of nearly daily Palestinian stabbing attacks, many of which were perpetrated by teenagers.
The Israeli government has eased access to guns in order to allow more civilians to have the ability to apprehend or stop perpetrators.