Moshe Plesser recounted how he put an end to the July 7, 2008 bulldozer attack in Jerusalem, acting with great heroism and ultimately eliminating the terrorist.
At the time, Moshe was a private in Golani on leave in his home-city of Jerusalem. “I went out that morning do some things, I went to donate blood in the city center. I was riding my bike, starting to return home, when I suddenly saw an overturned bus on the other side of the street. Nearby was a bulldozer.”
“For a second I thought it was an accident, and that the bulldozer driver was trying to help. I saw him go in reverse with the blade in the air, then come back and bring down the blade onto the bus. I immediately understood that this was a terror attack.
“I saw that I couldn’t do anything with the bike, so I threw it to the side so I would have more maneuverability.
“There was a security guard standing there aiming a pistol at the bulldozer. He didn’t shoot for some reason. I tried asking him for his weapon, he was startled - in the heat of the moment he apparently thought that I was also a terrorist - and he started to aim the weapon at me.
“I left him and started running toward the bulldozer. It was clear to me that I was going to do everything I could to stop this incident - saving life takes precedence over everything.
“The bulldozer was rampaging, moving forward and backward, doing whatever he wanted. At that point he moved forward and got stuck on the concrete partition, and the terrorist fainted.
“A nearby traffic police officer got onto the bulldozer. I approached and climbed onto the bulldozer - the terrorist was still unconscious.
“First I moved his foot from the gas pedal - I don’t know bulldozers or how to turn them off. That policeman was leaning over him, basically hiding the terrorist - there was no way to get him out.
“At that stage I didn’t have a weapon, I looked around to see what I could do. I looked down and saw a guy in jeans and a hat, Oron ben Shimon, I gave him a hand up - he seemed focused.”
In the meantime, “The terrorist woke up, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and continued pushing the gas pedal. There were now four people on the buildozer. “
“At that point the terrorist also ran into a car, killing another woman. Oron grappled with the terrorist as he tried to steer us to the right to stop the incident as quickly as possible. He was unable to shoot.
“I was behind Oron and saw that he had a pistol. I took his pistol, loaded it, and shot 4 bullets. The terrorist was killed on the spot.
“I went outside with the pistol. There were already lots of security forces there so I raised my hand in the air so they would understand that I wasn’t the terrorist - I had no identifying sign.”
Three people were killed in the attack - Batsheva Unterman, 33, Elizabeth Goren-Friedman, 54, and Jean Relevy, 68.
For his bravery, initiative and resourcefulness, Moshe was granted an award by then-head of Northern Command Gadi Eisenkot.