'Driver Shouted: He's Butchering the Passengers!'

Bus driver who rode behind J'lem bus targeted in lethal attack recalls horror as terrorist approached, then returned to lock in riders.

Hezki Baruch ,

Egged bus driver Ori
Egged bus driver Ori
Hezki Ezra

Ori, an Egged bus driver who drove behind the 78 line bus that was attacked by two Arab terrorists in Jerusalem's southeastern Armon Hanatziv neighborhood on Tuesday, told Arutz Sheva about what he saw.

In the attack two people, including a 60-year-old man, were murdered and 15 others wounded, eight seriously. Two terrorists conducted the attack, one armed with a gun and another with a knife; one was shot dead and the other was shot and taken into custody.

"We drove out at 10 a.m., we were driving one after the other. When I reached this point, Yisrael - the other driver, my friend - got out of the bus and ran towards my bus (shouting): 'stop, stop, there's a terrorist in the bus,'" recalled Ori.

"Then the terrorist started to run after him with the knife, a large knife. He ran up to my door, I closed the door and he ran back to the (other) bus."

"When Yisrael tried to approach, because he had passengers in the bus, he shouted to me 'he's slaughtering them, he's slaughtering them,' and we had nothing we could do, we were trying to contact the police, there's nothing we could do. I don't have a gun, he doesn't have a gun."

"The terrorist approached again, and after a moment when he understood that in the best case scenario either Yisrael gets on with me and we flee or else run him over, there's no other situation, he went back to the (other) bus and locked the passengers in the bus until the police arrived, but in the meantime what he did there..." said Ori, trailing off.

Speaking about how the terrorist was neutralized, the driver continued, saying, "the police arrived, what I saw from here outside - because you can't see inside - is that they of course shot in the windows of the bus and the doors to enter. They went in, and what happened inside I have no idea."

Ori noted he's been a bus driver for 23 years, meaning that he was a driver during the massive terror war that began in 2000, alternately called the Second Intifada or Oslo War, in which buses were frequently targeting in shootings and suicide bombings.

"It brings me back, this is already the second time that I've been in a situation like this, it's like what happened on (bus) line 32, if you remember, at Pat Junction, what happened with the 14 line. That was my ride, just that morning I didn't appear at work I went somewhere else."

In the attack Ori mentioned, which took place in 2002, 19 people were murdered and 74 wounded due to a suicide bombing.

"It gets me because I could have driven ahead of him, we both went out at 10 a.m.," said the driver.

The interview was ended at that point by police who asked to speak with Ori.

The interview, in Hebrew, can be viewed below.