Ynet photographer Meshi Ben Ami

'It felt like my calling,' says Ynet photographer after stopping terrorist

Meshi Ben Ami recounts the dramatic moments he found himself face to face with the Palestinian attacker; 'he stood several feet from me. I felt threatened, I felt my life was in danger, and then I neutralized him'

Haim Goldich |
Published: 07.19.22, 22:19
"When I look back at the scene, I feel as if I was there alone. It felt like my calling."
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  • These were the words of Ynet photographer Meshi Ben Ami who shot and neutralized a Palestinian terrorist attacking a passenger on a bus in Jerusalem Tuesday evening.
    3 View gallery
    משי בן עמי שניטרל את המחבל
    משי בן עמי שניטרל את המחבל
    Ynet photographer Meshi Ben Ami
    (Photo: Alex Gamburg)
    "I was driving from the Ramot neighborhood toward downtown when I spotted a man lying on top of another and stabbing him," said the lensman.
    "I realized this was a stabbing attack. I was a little hesitant at first, but when I saw people running, I had to act. I pulled out my weapon and started running in his direction. He got off the victim and I saw someone throwing a rock at him.
    Then, he approached me, holding the same object he used to stab the victim. It was a screwdriver. He approached me, and I ordered him to halt. He didn't stop and stood feet from me. I felt threatened, I felt my life was in danger, and then I neutralized him."
    This isn't the first time Ben Ami has come face to face with a Palestinian terrorist, having thwarted a similar attack in Jerusalem six years ago.
    3 View gallery
    זירת האירוע בירושלים
    זירת האירוע בירושלים
    Forensics officers examine the scene of the attack in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Large police forces poured into the scene alongside first responders who provided treatment to the wounded passenger. Ben Ami was taken in for questioning by the Jerusalem District Police after the shooting.
    "They questioned me, they treated me very well, good people," he said. "I got to keep my weapon. I wish a speedy recovery to the victim. He should know that the entire people of Israel are with him."
    The Jerusalem District Police said it was still examining the circumstances of the event.
    The attacker shot by Ben Ami was identified as 44-year-old Ismail Nimer — a Palestinian from the West Bank city of Ramallah. Nimer holds a permit to work in Israel. He is in moderate to serious condition.
    The wounded passenger was transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital with moderate injuries. The hospital said that his condition was stable and that his life was not in danger.
    Paramedics Itay Shimonov and Netanel Lifshits who treated the passenger said that they saw a man lying on the ground next to the bus while he was conscious and suffering from stab wounds.
    "We provided him with life-saving medical treatment that included stopping the bleeding and bandages, and we quickly evacuated him on an ambulance to the hospital when his condition was stable," they said.
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid praised Ben Ami for "acting resolutely to neutralize the terrorist and preventing harm to more people."
    Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli also congratulated "the heroic and brave Ynet photographer who did so for the second time."
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