Herzl Biton improving in hospital after attack on Tel Aviv bus.

Bus driver who fought off terrorist recovering after life-saving surgery

Condition of veteran bus driver Herzl Biton improves after life-saving surgery while 69-year-old woman fights for her life in intensive care unit after Tel Aviv stabbing attack.

The 62-year-old bus driver, Herzl Biton, who was seriously wounded in the Tel Aviv stabbing attack on Wednesday has regained consciousness and is on the road to recovery according to medical staff at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.



Despite progress in Biton's condition, he is still attached to a respirator and in serious condition – he underwent emergency surgery. The veteran bus driver was repeatedly stabbed in the stomach which caused damaged to his inner organs.


Veteran bus driver Herzl Biton.
Veteran bus driver Herzl Biton.


Along with Biton in the intensive care unit (ICU), is a 69-year-old woman, one of Biton's passengers on Bus 40, who is in serious condition and still fighting for her life.


The stabbing attack began on Wednesday morning at 7:30 am when a terrorist armed with a knife began stabbing passengers on the bus which has a route that begins in Bat Yam and ends at Tel Aviv University.


(Photo: Magen David Adom) (Photo: Magen David Adom)
(Photo: Magen David Adom)


After stabbing numerous individuals on the bus, and undergoing a struggle with Biton, the terrorist, Hamza Matrouk, exited the bus and began stabbing civilians on the street near the Beit Ma'ariv bridge – a mere 5 minute walk from Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard.


Prison guards belong to the Nachshon unit who happened to be in the area apprehended Matrouk by shooting him in the leg. During preliminary questioning, Matrouk claimed he carried out the attack as a response to Operation Protective Edge, recent tension at the Temple Mount, and after viewing Islamic channels which praised "reaching heaven."


Several of the civilians wounded in the attack said that the quick thinking of Biton helped them escape the bus before the attacker could reach them. As mentioned, Biton put up a fight with the attacker and afterwards slammed on the breaks which jolted Matrouk, who was on his way to the back of the bus crowded with passengers, and enabled many passengers to escape.


Terrorist Hamza Matrouk.
Terrorist Hamza Matrouk.


Biton managed to call his family members and say, "A terrorist got on the bus and stabbed me."


Biton's family members were not surprised by his courageous efforts.


"It is something that identifies him, he always gives of himself for others and first of all takes care of them," said Biton's son Yaniv. "He has been driving the bus for 24 years, and it is important to him that the passengers will not get hurt. He fought and as a result was further wounded. Despite all the wounds, he continued to fight.


(Photo: AFP)
(Photo: AFP)


"Bus drivers have no security. My dad always said that one day a terrorist will board his bus, but he also said the terrorist would take a big blow. He saw what happened around him during the Intifada, he lost friends. I want the entire nation of Israel to pray for the healing of Herz Shimon ben Farhah so that he will recover and slowly stand up on his legs," said his son.


Another man wounded during the attack and hospitalized at the Sourasky Medical Center is in moderate condition after suffering a severe stab to the stomach. He is under increased care. Another woman who was traveling on the bus is also hospitalized in moderate condition in the nose, ear and throat unit after undergoing surgery to her neck.


On Wednesday, 19 people wounded by the attack were treated at Sourasky Medical Center, 15 of which were released home – two in light condition and 13 suffering from shock.


At the Sheba Medical Center in central Israel, four people wounded by the attack are being treated. One of them, Daniel Felah, 25-years-old and from Bat Yam, is in serious condition but his life is not in danger.


Felah was on his way to work when the terrorist stabbed him. He was able to get out of the bus and got into the car of Keren Sadeh, whose sister died in a terror attack at the Old Tel Aviv bus station.


Felah suffers internal wounds after being stabbed in the stomach. He underwent surgery on Wednesday and was taken to the rehabilitation unit. His family spoke to him after the surgery. "He told us that (the terrorist) was getting close to him, and when he arrived, Daniel was already near the door and tried to escape, but then (the terrorist) stabbed him and Daniel fell outside unto the curb. He is in a lot of pain and has a lot of adrenaline, he speaks, but I think he still has not internalized what happened to him," said Daniel's sister Meytal.


Two 50-year-old women also wounded in the attack are hospitalized in the surgical unit and in moderate condition. The women are conscious but receiving intense care after being stabbed in the chest and will be monitored for further treatment.


Shay Ohana, 24, suffered a hand wound during the attack. He was hospitalized in the surgical unit and underwent hand surgery to repair damaged tendons.


"The paramedic in the ambulance called me in the morning and said that (Shay) had been wounded during the attack. I asked how he was doing and she said that he was on the way to the hospital and that it was not known exactly what happened. He was furious and shocked," said Shay's father Albert.


Magen David Adom crews cared for five other individuals at the scene of the attack who suffered from shock.


פרסום ראשון: 01.22.15, 09:41
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