Second Lieutenant Yitzhak Maimon, who took on the terrorist who brutally murdered IDF soldier Eden Atias on a bus in the northern city of Afula last Wednesday, was honored on Sunday evening by the IDF.
Maimon was given a certificate of merit by Colonel Asher Ben-Lulu, commander of the IDF’s Kfir infantry brigade, who said, "I am honored to give a certificate of appreciation Second Lieutenant Yitzhak Maimon, who adhered to the values he learned as a fighter in the Kfir Brigade.”
Ben-Lulu said that Maimon acted courageously "and sought to apprehend the terrorist at the Afula central bus station. We are proud of you.”
After the attack, Maimon recalled that he had been waiting at the bus station 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, Maimon 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 Maimon, who then led him to security forces at the bus station.
The 16-year-old terrorist who stabbed Atias to death has told interrogatorsthat his intention from the start had been to murder an Israeli soldier.
An investigation into the attack has found that the terrorist boarded the bus, which was full of soldiers, and waited until the bus made a stopover at the Afula bus station, where most of the passengers typically get off for a few minutes before the trip continues.
The terrorist, seeing that Atias had fallen asleep during the trip, took advantage of the stopover and of the fact that most of the passengers were off the bus, to stab Atias.
Atias, who was critically wounded, was taken to the Haemek Hospital, where he died shortly afterwards.