“We paid a heavy price, but we all can imagine what would have happened if the police’s suspicions wouldn’t have arisen or if they wouldn’t have run into the terrorist," Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said upon arriving at the scene of Thursday morning's stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood.
Dichter was accompanied by Jerusalem District Commander Aharon Franco.
The attack claimed the life of 86-year-old Avraham Ozeri and left Border Guard officer Daniel Motza moderately wounded.
According to an initial investigation, the incident began when two officers detained the terrorist, 21-year-old Mohammad el-Badan, for a security check, but he pulled out a knife and stabbed one of them. The injured officer pulled out his gun, shot and injured the terrorist, who fled the scene with the knife in his hand.
The assailant, a resident of a village located near the West Bank town of Bethlehem, went on to stab Ozeri before being captured by another citizen and a municipal inspector.
Dichter continued to say “we have a few vulnerabilities in the area surrounding Jerusalem and as I understood from the Jerusalem District Police, the terrorist entered through one of them.”
Yoav Mizrahi, the civilian who apprehended the terrorist, said "I was driving along the street when I noticed an Arab fighting with an officer. I stopped the car and suddenly (the Arab) pulled out a knife and began stabbing the officer. I ran towards the terrorist and yelled at him. The officer got up, shot the fleeing terrorist and then collapsed.
"During his attempt to escape the terrorist stabbed an elderly man, who collapsed," Mizrahi recounted. "The terrorist continued to run; I chased after him and yelled at him in Arabic to stop. I caught up with him after 150 meters (492 feet), grabbed on to him from behind and threw him to the ground. I held him down with the help of a municipal inspector until security forces arrived."