'I Pointed My Weapon and Ordered Him to Surrender'

Off-duty IDF officer tells of the moment he came face-to-face with the terrorist who murdered soldier Eden Atias in Afula this morning.

Ari Soffer ,

Eden Atias, Hy"d
Eden Atias, Hy"d

An off-duty IDF commander has told of how he took on the terrorist who brutally murdered IDF soldier Eden Atias on a bus in the northern city of Afula this morning.

The unnamed 16 year-old Palestinian Arab stabbed Atias in a frenzied attack in front of stunned passengers as the young recruit slept in his seat.

Second Lieutenant Yitzhak Meimon had left his house in Beit Shean Wednesday morning and made his way to the central bus station in Afula. He was still waiting for the number 823 bus to Tel Aviv when he noticed a disturbance, and went to investigate.

"As I was waiting for the bus I noticed an unusual commotion and ran to check what was going on," he relates.

Suddenly, Meimon came face-to-face with the attacker and, realizing the threat posed to the other passengers, he took action.

"As I alighted the bus I noticed the terrorist standing by one of the back seats where he had just stabbed the soldier [Atias] only a few moment before.

"Within a few seconds I took command of the situation. I pointed my weapon at the terrorist and ordered him (to surrender)."

The terrorist immediately froze and surrendered, according to Meimon, who then led him to security forces at the bus station.

As an officer who commands soldiers just like Atias, Meimon says the tragedy really hit home. Nevertheless, he has no doubt that, despite the recent spike in terrorist attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, the security forces are in control of the situation.

"I share the suffering of the family, and feel their pain," he said. "As an IDF commander I am confident that we are doing our best to protect the lives of the citizens of this country."