Hours after the terror attack in Gush Etzion, the commander of the wounded IDF soldier tells of his quick thinking that prevented a more serious injury and of the moments they tried to convince the terrorist to relinquish the knife: “We tried to neutralize him by shouting, told him to drop the knife. We called for him to stop, but he was determined.”
Lt. Zalouf and his soldiers Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
This evening, Lieutenant Lior Zalouf of Battalion 334, the commander of the wounded soldier who shot and neutralized the terrorist in today’s car-ramming attack, spoke with Channel 2 News about the dramatic incident. Praising his soldier’s resourcefulness, he said “he jumped on the hood of the car so it wouldn’t run him over.” He said that rapid response is part of what he and his soldiers practice in their exercises: “We talk a lot about safety and how to protect ourselves.”
“I was at the junction with another soldier of mine. We saw a soldier coming from the direction of the pillbox crossing the road,” recalled Zalouf. “He heard a very sudden acceleration from a vehicle somewhere behind him- he jumped on the hood of the car so it wouldn’t run him over, passed over the car and flew over the safety rail. He got on the hood so as not to get hurt.”
The scene of the car-ramming attack Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
He continued: “The soldier who was with me and I turned around and ran towards the car, we were about 13 feet away. The man came out with a knife. We wanted the incident to end with no casualties- neither ours nor the enemy’s. We tried to neutralize him by shouting, told him to drop the knife. We called for him to stop, but he was determined and advanced toward us. When he was about 6 feet away from us we knew what we had to do- we opened fire and neutralized the incident.”
When asked what was going through his mind during the attack, Zalouf said that he was thinking about the wounded soldier. “It’s my soldier from my division. I had to make sure that everything was okay with him.” On shooting the terrorist, he said: “We tried to do it as neatly as possible, so that no one would be hurt beyond what was necessary. I was told ‘well done,’ that we had acted appropriately. Everyone asked how the soldier was doing, no one could think of anything else.”
At 12:30 PM today (Monday), a Palestinian terrorist purposefully crashed his vehicle into an IDF guard post in the West Bank, moderately injuring an IDF soldier. The soldier was evacuated to Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem.