Paratrooper: 'He Stabbed Me, I Pinned Him Down'

First Sgt. Yoav Leitman was stabbed in the arm and head but did not shoot the assailant, pinning him down and taking his knife instead.

Gil Ronen,

First Sgt. Leitman tackles terrorist.
First Sgt. Leitman tackles terrorist.
IDF Spokesman

First Sergeant Yoav Leitman of the Paratroopers Regiment recounted Thursday the incident in which he was stabbed by a terrorist in Samaria.

Speaking to reporters from his hospital bed, Leitman said that the entire confrontation lasted seconds.

"A youth came up to me from behind, drew a knife and stabbed me in the arm [or hand – ed.]. I pushed him away from me. He came at me again, drew close, stabbed me two or three times in the upper part of the head. In a matter of five seconds, I pinned him to the floor and the knife was no longer on him.”

Leitman said that he had been on patrol with three other paratroopers in the vicinity of Oranit. There had been an alert about six Arabs who had crossed the security fence illegally. The four soldiers joined a larger force that was at the scene of the suspected infiltration.

The force received information that the illegals were hiding in a bush: "I and the driver of the jeep who was with me drew close to the bush. We approached it from both sides. We understood that this was the precise spot.

"I threw a stun grenade. The [Arab] guys were scared and they shouted 'OK, OK.' We started walking with them toward the jeep to get information about them. As we took their ID cards and telephones, one of them came and stabbed me.”

In the past, when a terrorist attempted to stab an IDF soldier, the normal response was to shoot to kill. However, leftist infiltration of the judicial system and media has resulted in numerous cases in which IDF soldiers are put on trial for using force against Arabs, and many prefer to try and overtake the terrorists without lethal force, so as not to land in prison.