'I was wrong - the soldiers did shoot at the terrorist'

Eitan Rund, tour guide who was first to open fire on terrorist yesterday, says he was misunderstood as saying soldiers never opened fire.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Truck used by terrorist
Truck used by terrorist
Arutz Sheva

In the wake of yesterday’s terror attack in Jerusalem, in which an Arab truck driver ran down more than a dozen IDF soldiers as they exited a bus, questions have been raised regarding the response of other soldiers at the scene, sparking fresh controversy over the IDF’s open-fire policies and the recent conviction of Sgt. Elor Azariya.

After the terrorist smashed through a line of soldiers, he reversed his vehicle, aiming at the fleeing soldiers in an attempt to continue the carnage.

One witness, tour guide Eitan Rund, has spoken publicly about what he called “hesitation” on the part of other soldiers at the scene, saying that the slow response may have cost lives.

Rund, who was one of the first to open fire at the terrorist, says the response my many of the soldiers at the scene was inexplicable, and suggesting the conviction of Elor Azariya, who shot and killed an Arab terrorist minutes after an attack in Hevron, may have contributed to the soldiers’ slow response.

"I don’t understand why 40 soldiers who were there did not shoot...It’s not pleasant to say, but there could have been a lot fewer wounded. After I decided to open fire at him, several soldiers also opened fire. He took a breath and carried on running people over," he said. "Lives could have been saved.

"There was hesitation to open fire. I have no doubt that this was a significant factor, because all they tell them [in the army] recently is to be careful. It could be that a few minutes less of hesitation and the situation would have been better."

A subsequent IDF investigation, however, revealed that a number of IDF cadets at the scene did in fact open fire, leading Rund, who was himself injured in the attack, to clarify his earlier comments.

The cadets, said Rund, did in fact open fire, and that his earlier criticism of their response and assertion that they had hesitated were emotional responses. Run also noted that he did not have all the facts at the time he spoke originally, and now knew without a doubt that others did in fact shoot at the terrorist.

While Rund claimed his comments were misrepresented, he also took responsibility for failing to clarify his testimony.

Some of the soldiers present at the scene of the attack criticized Rund’s initial claims and reports suggesting the cadets failed to respond properly.

"I, as opposed to many other people- was in Armon Hanatziv," wrote cadet Noam Kadar, who asked the public to “stop listening to unsubstantiated reports by those who run to publicize rubbish and distorted information. Please stop spreading views which are based on baseless lies. Please stop trying to sell psychological explanations about what went on when I saw a truck run over my friends.”