Some of the policemen who had shielded the Jewish terrorist, Eden Natan Zada, from an angry mob in Shfaram immediately after he had killed four people on a bus driving through the Arab city on Thursday, stepped off the vehicle, which enabled several people to board the bus and beat him to death. This scenario emerged from a reconstruction of the incident with Shfaram residents, defense forces and bus passengers.
At 5:05 P.M. on Thursday, Egged bus No. 165 to Shraram left Haifa's Lev Hamifratz station, where the Jewish terrorist Eden Natan Zada apparently got on. "The religious Jewish soldier was on the bus, sitting in the back," Abtihaj Salame, who boarded the bus at the Kiryat Ata junction, said. "Everyone thought he would get off before Shfaram, but he remained seated when the bus reached the city's entrance." Another passenger, Khail Janahawi, recalled that at 5:35 P.M., the driver asked the soldier to come to the front of the bus, but he ignored the request. "When we reached Shfaram's Druze neighborhood, the soldier rose and walked to the front door, as though he wanted to get off. The door opened, and then he turned around and started shooting," Salame said.
Badia Sha'aban was sitting in the back part of the bus when the attack took place. "I didn't know what was happening," she said. "I heard shots and screams, and lay between the seats. The soldier approached me, placed the barrel on my head and pulled the trigger. I closed my eyes and saw the end, but there were no bullets left. He started changing magazines, but I pushed him, and two others jumped on him and stopped him."
A member of the security forces who was driving behind the bus in his car, said: "I cocked my rifle and started running. I reached the back door, entered the bus with two others, and saw the terrorist aim his rifle at the head of a young woman, while he was trying to change magazines. We jumped on him. I held my rifle to his head, and told him to drop the gun. Hundreds of people crowded outside the bus. I held him tightly for a few minutes, and two policemen arrived. One of them handcuffed him, and I turned to the front of the bus to see what was happening. Four people including the driver were lying motionless there."
The man said that as soon as the terrorist was overcome, "many people boarded the bus - mainly youngsters. The commotion was great. Within minutes, the bus was bursting with people and surrounded by an angry crowd, whose rage increased when it transpired that the shooter was a Jewish soldier."
Shfaram policemen reached the bus. One officer said Natan Zada was badly beaten but still alive. Channel 10 broadcast video clips yesterday confirming that the terrorist was alive after the shooting. Naatan Zada is seen walking in the bus bound. A few youngsters are seen bursting into the bus, while at least two policemen were inside it.
At 5:40 P.M. the telephone in Shfaram's emergency center rang. "We were flooded with calls reporting massive shooting on a bus," M'houl, a paramedic, said. Five minutes later, M'houl was on the bus. "I got in through the front door. The driver was slumped in his seat lifeless. Another passenger behind him was dead. Two women sat in the other front seat, one was lifeless and the other unconscious, but breathing. We started resuscitating her. I saw a commotion in the back of the bus. I did not know then that a soldier had done the shooting."
At 6:06 P.M., the media broadcast the report of the bus attack. Large police forces amassed at the city's entrance. Policemen surrounded Zada in the back of the bus. The crowd would not let them take Zada out with with the bodies. Ambulances came to evacuate the three bodies.
Shortly afterward, the crowd removed the bodies from the bus, leaving only Zada and the policemen on board. "I saw his face covered with a black bag, but his legs were moving. I didn't know if he was alive or dead," a youngster said.
The police tried to prevent other youngsters from entering the bus under a shower of stones hurled by the crowd. The police tried to drive the bus away, but the crowd would not let them proceed.
Some of the policemen left the bus, and many youngsters boarded it and wrestled with the remaining policemen inside. They finally reached Zada and beat him to death. "He's finished," one of them yelled from the window.
By 10:20 P.M., religious leaders tried to persuade the crowd to disperse, but in vain. At 10:35 P.M., Zada's body was taken out of the back window into a police car, which drove through the crowd while youngsters threw stones at it. As soon as the terrorist's body was removed, the crowd calmed down and started to disperse. The town began to mourn its dead.
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