Herzl Biton, the bus driver who was seriously injured while fighting terrorist Hamza Mohammed Hassan Matrouk during a stabbing spree in Tel Aviv Wednesday, described his ordeal in an emotional Channel 10 interview Saturday night.
"I had no choice, I had to save the passengers," Biton stated, from his hospital bed in Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital. "He stabbed me while driving and went to the middle of the bus and began to stab passengers."
"Then he began to rock the bus from side to side, so that people standing on the street will notice that there is a problem," Biton added.
Biton said that he purposely directed Matrouk toward him so that he could enable passengers to escape while they could.
"I had no choice but to bring him to me," Biton stated. "I hit the brakes so that he flew like a bird [up front] to my seat."
"I jumped out of my chair, grabbed his left hand, and started to spray him with tear gas," he continued. "I gave him a punch and he punched me back. Because I was losing a lot of blood, there was a pool of [my] blood next to me and I slipped in it."
Meanwhile, passengers had wrenched open the bus doors and fled - but it was not enough to stop Matrouk, who left the bus and began walking toward Yitzhak Sadeh street in the heart of the city.
But despite his injuries, Biton "left the bus and started chasing him," he recounted.
Biton was commended by Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau Wednesday night for his heroism during the attack, which injured 12 people.
Rabbi Lau stated that Biton's actions saved lives and that he had the special privilege of being the messenger through which the commandment of saving a life was fulfilled - and would gain merit for it spiritually.
"We believe that everyone who saves a Jewish life saves the entire world, and Herzl was a messenger for a mitzvah to save the passengers and we believe and pray that he will recover soon with all the other wounded," he said.