Two Time Hero: Jerusalem Mayor’s Heroic Intervention Comes Exactly 11 Years After Saving Lives in Suicide Bombing Aftermath



The heroic intervention on Sunday of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who tackled an Arab terrorist who had just stabbed an Israeli, comes 11 years to the day after similarly heroic actions he took in the aftermath of a terror attack in 2004, The Algemeiner has discovered.

In today’s terror assault, a 27-year-old Haredi youth was stabbed in IDF Square in Jerusalem, near City Hall. Barkat, happened to be passing by, and along with his security detail, succeeded in subduing the terrorist and preventing a more serious attack, Israel’s NRG news website reported.

Back in 2004, also on February 22nd, Barkat saved the life of then 16-year-old Liz Montilio in the immediate aftermath of a bloody bus bombing in Jerusalem.

The incident, known as the Liberty Bell Park bus bombing, was a suicide attack on the Egged bus #14a. Eight passengers were killed in the attack and over 60 people were injured, many of them children on their way to school. Palestinian terror group, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

Barkat described the events of that day in an interview with Israel’s Yediot Ahronot after he attended Montilio’s wedding in 2013.

“I heard a terrifying explosion… Immediately I realized it was an attack. I stopped the car and ran like crazy onto the bus. I went through what remained of the door, and being as it was less than half a minute after the blast, I was the first one on the bus… alone with the dead and wounded. It was completely silent. I immediately started to rescue people,” Barkat said.

Montilio was one of the first among the wounded that Barkat took off the bus. “I put her on the sidewalk and I went back inside to get more wounded, some of them I took out of the window along with a soldier who had joined. Magen David Adom had not yet arrived, and I went out to check the condition of Liz. I saw that she was losing a lot of blood from a shrapnel wound in a main artery. I stopped the flow of blood using my finger, I pushed hard and waited for the evacuation personnel. I knew that if I did not block the artery, she would die immediately. She was all white, severely wounded, lying on the sidewalk but conscious. I talked to her, encouraged her, and promised her that she would be fine. When we sent her to the hospital I had no idea if she was alive or dead, and went on to take care of the other wounded.”

The next night Barkat visited the wounded in the hospital. Liz was then in the operating room. “I met her family and they told me at the hospital that she had arrived in serious condition. A few days later, when she recovered, I visited her in the hospital again.”

Brachie Sprung, a spokeswoman for the mayor, told The Algemeiner that she was with Barkat when he received a called from Montilio shortly after today’s attack.

“Right after the attack he got a call from the woman who he saved,” Sprung said. “It was quite an emotional moment, it gave him the chills.”

The Algemeiner Journal



  1. After the knife attack in Jerusalem, he was interviewed by the media. In the video, I was impressed that he responded several times with ‘Thank G-d’ after he commented that there weren’t more victims from the attack. This from a secular Jew.

  2. Mig, the fact is there are very few truly “secular” Jews in Israel. Only about 2 or 3 percent of Israeli Jews describe themselves as “anti-religious,” and the rest are all on a sort of spectrum through “traditional” and “religious traditional” all the way to religious.

    This is even more true in Jerusalem. I wouldn’t be surprised if Barkat was pretty observant by most standards.


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