When a 24-year-old Arab terrorist from Shechem (Nabulus) stabbed Asher Elmaliach through the heart, it looked like there was little hope of saving the 46-year-old security guard.
Elimaliach, a resident of the town of Adam near Jerusalem, was working as a security guard for the central bus station in the capital on Sunday, when 24-year-old Yassin Abu Al-Keraa approached a bus station entrance.
As he removed his jacket, Abu Al-Keraa suddenly drew a knife, stabbed Elmaliach, then fled.
The knife penetrated Elmaliach’s heart, leaving him struggling to survive.
While police quickly apprehended Abu Al-Keraa, Elmaliach was rushed to Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem, his condition critical.
Yet despite the severe wound, doctors at Shaarei Tzedek managed to stabilize Elmaliach’s condition overnight.
But according to doctors, Elmaliach just barely survived, and would have almost certainly succumbed to his wounds if had been evacuated to the hospital’s intensive care unit any later.
“Had he come in two minutes later there would have been nothing we could do,” hospital staff said Monday. “That’s all that separated life from death.”
Elmaliach’s survival after the brush with death has been dubbed a “Hanukkah miracle” at Shaarei Tzedek.
Shortly after he was admitted to Shaarei Tzedek, Elmaliach’s six siblings visited him, as did his son and ex-wife.
Just hours before the attack, Abu Al-Keraa hinted at his plans, declaring his willingness to be killed for the “homeland” and “for the Al Aqsa Mosque”.
“For Allah’s sake we rose up, we wish to raise the banner…to let our religion [Islam] exult once again, and to make the Al Aqsa Mosque [on the Temple Mount] once again be resplendent,” Abu Al-Keraa wrote on Facebook.
“Please let our blood be spilled – for it is of little matter to spill one’s blood for our homeland, for Jerusalem, and for the Al Aqsa Mosque.”