The Israeli traffic cop who prevented what could have been a major terrorist attack in Yerushalayim Sunday morning recounted details of the event from his hospital bed for Israel’s Channel 2.
Sergeant Major Moshe Chen, a senior Israel Police officer, was injured in the failed suicide bombing – committed by a female terrorist — that took place in a vehicle at the A-Zaim checkpoint near Ma’aleh Adumim. With burns covering his face and body, Chen had managed to phone for medical help and back-up.
Chen, 45, described driving home to Jerusalem from a shift at work and noticing the woman’s car behind him, mainly because she was in the lane reserved for public transportation, security vehicles and cars with three or more passengers. She aroused his suspicion, however, when she began tailgating him at a fast pace. It was then that he stopped and went to her window.
“Luckily, I [had on] a bullet-proof vest,” he said. “I told her she was in violation of the traffic laws. And then she shouted, ‘Allahu akbar!’ – and smoke began to billow out of her car. I thought something was burning, so I went to get a fire extinguisher. Suddenly there was an explosion, and I realized she was a terrorist.”
While Chen suffered burns, the terrorist was flung from her car, and was clearly seriously wounded. Because of this, Chen said, he told onlookers who began to gather at the scene “not to shoot because she was already injured and the danger had passed.”
Chen continued: “I [later learned] that there was also a gas canister in the car, and that I had prevented a greater tragedy. This is why we serve in the police department, to protect the lives of civilians. I didn’t expect this would happen to me. I am always kept abreast of each terrorist attack, and I didn’t think I would be [involved in one.] I am nervous and emotional right now, as it dawns on me that I could have died, and yet here I am, alive and well.”
Chen said that when his four children arrived at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he is being treated for his injuries, his eldest son called him a “hero.”
“I’ve been with the police for 33 years,” Chen concluded. “I have been through two intifadas, and I hope this one will be over as soon as possible.”
The terrorist was identified as a 31-year-old resident of Jericho. She was evacuated from the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics and taken to Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem for treatment. She remains in critical condition.
Watch a video of Chen’s comments from his hospital bed below (Hebrew):