Police are investigating the violent behavior of Arab bystanders in the Old City of Jerusalem who assaulted a wounded terror victim rather than assisting her.
Adele Benita was severely wounded in a terror attack Saturday in Jerusalem’s Old City, during which her husband Aharon Bennett was murdered and her baby injured. From her Hadassah Ein-Kerem hospital bed on Monday night, she told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan the harrowing details surrounding the assault on her family and her difficult escape.
After being stabbed several times, she ran through the streets with a knife in her back as Arab bystanders spat at her, applauded the attacker and refused to help, she said.
The family was attacked while returning from prayers at the Kotel [Western Wall]. At one point they realized that they were the only Israelis on the street. “Suddenly, he [the terrorist] emerged from one of the shops… I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I felt someone at my back, and then I saw my husband starting to confront him,” Adele, 22, recounted.
“My husband is a strong man and started fighting him. He punched him in the face. At that point, the terrorist started stabbing me. Then he went back to my husband and stabbed him again and again. I also fought him, I tried to take away the knife, but I failed,” she said.
“Many Arabs were around us watching what was happening. They simply laughed and smiled,” she continued. “I really begged, ‘Help me, help me!”
“As I ran to them, I heard cursing; I got slapped, yelled at. They were animals. I felt that it had been organized.” One of them laughed in her face and told her to “drop dead,” she added.
One of the Arabs watched the attack while sipping a can of soda.
Adele managed to escape the scene and alert security forces. Upon finding them, she collapsed. After receiving treatment at the scene, she was rushed to a hospital. She was unable to attend her husband’s funeral due to her severe wounds.
Nehemia Lavi, 41, who lived nearby, heard the screams and went to help. He, too, was stabbed and murdered by the terrorist, Muhannad Halabi.
Halabi,19, was shot and killed by security forces after shooting at them.
Video footage of the attack that emerged shortly afterwards shows Halabi lunging at one of his victims. Adele’s screams are clearly heard, as well as her baby’s. The video ends with the sound of gunshots and Halabi dropping to the ground. Throughout the entire attack, one can also see the many Arab bystanders who did nothing to prevent the attack or to assist the wounded mother.
Following his visit with Adele, Erdan asked police to consider charging Arabs who declined to help her.
“Following Adele’s shocking testimony about the behavior of the storekeepers and bystanders who saw a woman in the Old City with a knife in the neck crying out for help, and instead of helping her behaved like animals – laughed at her, beating and spitting on [her], I asked the police to urgently consider initiating criminal proceedings against them for failure to prevent a crime,” Erdan stated on his Facebook page.
According to the Good Samaritan Law, it is the obligation of a citizen to aid a person who is in severe and immediate danger to his life, to his bodily integrity or to his health, when the person nearby can help.
Police have reportedly launched an investigation and will question shop owners in the vicinity of the attack as well as bystanders who were seen in the clip and on security camera footage.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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