The Israeli man seriously wounded in Sunday’s shooting in Huwara spoke to the public on Tuesday for the first time since the incident, saying it was a “miracle” he survived and calling on the security establishment to prevent the next attack.
Speaking from his hospital bed, David Stern, 41, a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen from Itamar in Samaria, said he and his wife had been driving to Jerusalem on Route 60 when the attack occurred. He recalled arriving at the Arab village’s main square and stopping to allow a person—the terrorist—to cross the road. Stern said that he noticed that the man was “blocking one hand” in a suspicious way.
“I immediately started going for [my] gun. The terrorist turned in our direction, and we started shooting almost together. He shot at us, I shot at him, and I saw from the side window that after firing something like 10 bullets he ran away. I drove the car a few hundred meters and stopped. I started putting on a tourniquet and a bandage, and after a few minutes the ambulance arrived and they took me away to the hospital,” he said.
His wife, 35, was also evacuated to the hospital, suffering from shock.
Stern is a trainer of fast-response defense units made up of Jewish residents in Samaria. He is a U.S. Marines Corps veteran and a martial arts expert.
Israeli security forces pursued and captured the terrorist, who was later identified as Leith Nazar, 28, a resident of the village of Madama near Nablus (biblical Shechem).
Stern addressed the public on Tuesday, thanking them for their outpouring of support after the terrorist attack.
“First of all, I want to say thank you to God and all the people of Israel for the prayers and support. I really feel everyone’s love, thank you very much.”
The attack came three weeks after two Israeli brothers were killed in a terrorist attack near Huwara. Hallel Menachem and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv were shot by a Palestinian terrorist who was later killed in an Israeli counter-terrorism operation in Jenin.
In his remarks to the gathered press, Stern pleaded with Israel’s political and security establishment to do more to protect residents of Judea and Samaria from Palestinian terrorism.
“We have to put back the checkpoints, we can’t continue like this. We survived the attack, but what will happen to the next family?” he said.
Following the murder of the Yaniv brothers, Israeli Transportation Minister Miri Regev pledged to accelerate the construction of a bypass road around Huwara frozen under the previous government.