Men Who Killed Terrorist: Policeman Was in the Way
by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) Moshe Plesser (also spelled Moshe Klessner, 18), the yeshiva student off-duty soldier who killed the bulldozer-driver terrorist, explained how he and security guard Oron Ben-Shimon stopped the murderous rampage.
Moshe did not wish to speak with the media, but hours afterwards read a written statement. He began by calling the attack a "murderous attack on our holy and beloved land, part of the war in which we find ourselves." He then thanked all those who, he said, had a hand in helping him act correctly: "First of all, thanks to G-d, and secondly to the education and upbringing I received, beginning in the Morashah Talmud Torah in Jerusalem, and then the Dimona Yeshiva High School, and then the Yitzhar and Kiryat Arba Hesder yeshivot, and finally to my army training, for helping me act in the way every soldier and citizen should. I also wish to thank my brother-in-law [Captain] David Shapira for serving as a personal example [Shapira was one of the two who killed the terrorist in Merkaz HaRav earlier this year - ed.] "
"As far as what happened," Plesser continued: "I was bicycling from the center of town [westward] towards my home, when I saw a bulldozer battering a bus lying on its side and a lot of commotion. I immediately realized that it was a terrorist attack. I threw the bicycle to the side, and I ran towards the scene, trying to get as close as I could to the bulldozer so that I could get on it and stop the driver. As I got closer I tried to somehow get a weapon. When the bulldozer stopped, a policeman climbed up, and I climbed up right behind him, screaming at him to shoot."
"Oron Ben-Shimon, with whom I was privileged to cooperate in stopping the terrorist, also climbed up, and he and the policeman tried to stop him with their hands. At first I could not shoot him, because the policeman stood in between us and the terrorist. The terrorist suddenly got up and started to drive again, screaming out Allahu Akbar, and Oron was able to turn the steering wheel so that the bulldozer wouldn't run over more cars. Finally, I was able to grab Oron's gun and shoot over the heads of the policeman and Oron, three bullets to his head. Then a Yassam policeman got on and fired again to ascertain his death."
Moshe can be seen in a blue shirt, outside the bulldozer cabin, in many of the videos of the attack being circulated.
Oron Ben-Shimon, a security guard at the nearby Kupat Cholim Leumit office, also took part in the save. He said that when he saw the shovel of the bulldozer mowing things down, "I ran towards it. When I got there, the bulldozer was stopped, I got up on it - Moshe helped me - and we tried to stop the driver, who looked like he was fainted on the steering wheel. But then he suddenly got up and started the bulldozer going again. I couldn't get to my gun, and also the policeman was in between me and the terrorist - so I punched him [the terrorist] and that stunned him... Then Moshe - who really deserves all credit; of all the people there, he was the one who responded the most correctly - quickly realized what was happening, and took the gun from my holster and shot the terrorist three times in the head. Then a Yassam policeman got on board, shot another bullet, and that was it."
The journalists listening to the accounts of Plesser and Ben-Shimon praised them highly, as well as the policeman and the Yassam officer. The fact that the policeman did not shoot and kill the terrorist, and the questions raised as a result, were not mentioned outright.
By IMRA July 3, 2008
Makor Rishon correspondent Hodaya Karish-Hazony, reports today that "Mem", the soldier who killed the terrorist yesterday in
"Mem", who at the time was 17, was beaten unconscious by police as he photographed -- from the sidewalk -- a protest in Ramat Gan during which the road was blocked.
Karish-Hazony suggests that police decided to beat him unconscious even though he was standing on the sidewalk and not involved in blocking the road in an attempt to stop him from documenting the event.
"Mem" was detained and released several days later and his file was closed for "lack of evidence" - a move that left a police record that made it necessary for him to have to fight the IDF in order to be drafted into an elite unit.
Yediot Ahronot reports that it took "Mem" two years of arguing with the IDF before he was ultimately drafted into an elite unit.
Dr. Aaron Lerner is editor of IMRA.