Civilian Passersby Come to Aid of Woman in Rosh Ha’ayin Stabbing Attack

Secutiy personel at the scene of the stabbing attack in Rosh HaAyin, Sunday. (Hachadhost Hachamot)
Secutiy personel at the scene of the stabbing attack in Rosh HaAyin, Sunday. (Hachadhost Hachamot)

Reut Weitzman, a 30-year-old mother of three from Kfar Saba, has been named as the Israeli woman who was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack in the industrial zone of Rosh Ha’ayin early Sunday afternoon.

The female stabber was neutralized and arrested. Police later said she was a 23-year-old resident of Kfar Kassem, a large Israeli Arab town adjacent to Kfar Saba.

Mrs. Weitzman was taken to the Beilinson hospital in Petach Tikvah for further treatment while fully conscious. Police were investigating the background of the attack, but said they suspected that it was undertaken as a terror attack.

Sunday’s stabbing was the first in Israel in over a week. Security cameras captured a frantic chase after the assailant, dressed in a white shirt and wearing a Muslim hijab headscarf. Civilians managed to pin down the knife-wielding attacker. Police who arrived on the scene found a second knife in her bag.

Weitzman later told reporters from her hospital bed: “I went out from an office building when I saw an Arab woman approaching me, and suddenly I felt a ‘boom’ in my arm,” she said. “I realized that she had a thick box-cutter knife, I pushed her away with my bag and I threw it at her.”

“She kept trying to stab me, I started to push her with my hands and legs and then I screamed and other people started to arrive.”

Describing the struggle, she continued, “I was sure she would succeed in stabbing me, because I was shouting and we were alone on the street. It took the others a bit of time to arrive and she didn’t stop trying to stab me, and I was just thinking how long I would be able to push her away.”

“The people who arrived at the start also weren’t armed, they didn’t have any way to stop her. They started to shout at her and throw things at her, but every time she backed up and tried to stab again. I’m still kind of in shock, trying to reenact and digest how we succeeding in doing it, because really it could have ended a lot worse.”

Yisrael, a security guard who overpowered the stabber until more security forces arrived, emphasized that no one sought to harm the apparent terrorist after she was subdued.

He recalled that “she had a large knife, people tried to throw rocks at her to neutralize her. They also tried to hit her with a car, but she was well-built and strong and succeeded in evading them.”

“In the end they backed her against a fence, and me and another guy took her down to the floor. After that moment she didn’t move.”