Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and his security guard during a press conference at City Hall on February 22, 2015, after Barkat and his security official helped subdue a knife-wielding terrorist. Photo: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and his security guard during a press conference at City Hall on February 22, 2015, after Barkat and his security official helped subdue a knife-wielding terrorist. Photo: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90

Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat is being hailed as a hero today after apprehending a suspected terrorist in the stabbing assault of a 27-year-old man in the capital yesterday.

This was the second time Barkat came to the rescue of a terror victim on February 22 – exactly 11 years to the date after saving the life of a 16-year-old girl in a bus bombing.

Dramatic security video footage of the attack is making the rounds online today, showing Barkat confronting the 19-year-old Palestinian suspect who was swinging a knife at bystanders across from the City Hall complex.

Barkat told reporters that he was in a car with his security guards when they noticed a commotion on the street. “We saw a terrorist with a knife standing and looking for the next thing to do,” he said.

Abraham Goldstein, the victim, was stabbed once in the stomach and used his tefillin bag to block another stabbing. When Barkat came to visit Goldstein, a father of four, in the hospital late last night, Goldstein thanked the mayor for helping to save his life.

In what can only be described as a spooky twist of fate, it turns out that February 22 is the same date Barkat saved Liz Montilio, then 16, from a bus bombing in 2004.

Barkat happened to be near the scene of the attack, perpetrated by a suicide bomber from the Palestinian Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, and ran into the burning bus to rescue those still inside. Montilio was one of the first people Barkat took off the bus.

Nir Barkat with Liz Montilio, the young woman he saved 11 years ago, at her wedding in 2013. (Photo: Uri Luntz)
Nir Barkat with Liz Montilio, the young woman he saved 11 years ago, at her wedding in 2013. (Photo: Uri Luntz)

He told a reporter from Yediot Aharonot newspaper at the time: “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.”

Barkat was a guest of honor at Montilio’s 2013 wedding. She called the superhero mayor yesterday to congratulate him on his heroic actions once again, noting the chilling coincidence of dates.