Dov Kalmanovich, one of the first Israelis to be wounded in the series of Arab attacks known as the “first intifada,” will soon celebrate 20 years since his miraculous survival following a Molotov cocktail attack in 1987. In an interview with Yediot Acharonot, Kalmanovich explained how a teenaged Arab threw a burning bottle filled with gas and glue into his car as he returned to his home in Beit El. The car immediately caught fire, and he was forced to stick his hand into the flames in order to release his seatbelt and escape. He lost his fingers on that hand.
Kalmanovich suffered third-degree burns over 75 percent of his body, and doctors did not believe that he would survive. He credits his survival in part to the training he received as a tank driver in the IDF, where he was taught how to escape a burning vehicle.
After his injury, Kalmanovich insisted on returning to work despite serious scarring on his face and body. He blames the outbreak of the “intifada” attacks on a prisoner release deal that brought “the hard core” of seasoned terrorists to Judea and Samaria. He expressed optimism this week, saying, “This is the reality, we live here. We returned to here from various exiles and we will continue to live here in the future as well.”