Ultra-Orthodox Man Wounded in Axe Attack in Central Jerusalem

Suspected attacker was Arab youth, who fled the scene; victim was on his way to pray in Jerusalem's Old City.

An ultra-Orthodox man in his fifties was assaulted on Monday morning, apparently by an Arab youth wielding an axe in central Jerusalem. The suspected assailant fled the scene. Jerusalem police were combing the crime scene for evidence.

"Around 8:20 we received a report about an attack near Highway 1, near Hanevi'im Street. When we arrived at the site, we found an ultra-Orthodox man bleeding profusely from his head," Avi Bar-Lev, a volunteer for the rescue team "Ichud Hatzala" told Haaretz.

Hanevi'im - Fitoussi - 2.4.12
Olivier Fitoussi

"He told us that he was on his way to the Kotel [Western Wall], when a man jumped on him from behind with an axe and started beating him. He attempted to struggle and the attacker fled. We provided medical treatment on the scene, then an ambulance took [the victim] to Hadassah Hospital."

"It was a miracle that he was only lightly wounded, in light of the circumstances," Bar-Lev added.

Shlomo Brendmeck, a bus driver who happened upon the scene shortly after the incident, told Haaretz that he found the victim frightened and nervous. The man told him that he struggled briefly with his attacker, eventually managing to wrestle the axe out of his hands. At that point, the attacker fled. "I think if the blade had hit his head directly, the man would no longer be with us. He was lucky. It was a serious axe," said Brendmeck.

Two weeks ago, Yehudit Aharon, a 19-year-old soldier from Jerusalem, was stabbed in a light rail station in Pisgat Ze'ev in northern Jerusalem. The suspected attacker, a high school student from northern Jerusalem, was apprehended in the Qalandiyah checkpoint shortly after the attack on his way to Ramallah.

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