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“The attacker was shot dead by a passerby”

“Four people killed in Israeli stabbing attack”, reports the Times:

At least four people were stabbed to death in southern Israel today before the attacker was shot dead by a passerby, in one of the deadliest such attacks in the country in years.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack in Beersheba, the largest city in the Negev desert. Israeli media reports identified the attacker as an Arab citizen of Israel, who is claimed to be a former high school teacher who had previously been imprisoned over alleged links to the Islamic State.

“It appeared to be a single terrorist who went on a stabbing spree,” Eli Levy, a police spokesman, said on Channel 13 TV. “A civilian took the initiative and shot and killed him.”

The presence of that armed civilian saved many innocent lives.

If a similar Islamist or other terrorist stabbing spree were to happen here in the UK tomorrow – and who is to say that it will not – then the odds for the defenders are much worse. If they are lucky there might be something like a narwhal tusk handy. If not… I have often thought of the brave last moments of Ignacio Echeverria:

At around 10pm on Saturday 3 June 2017, Echeverría, carrying his skateboard on his back, was skateboarding with friends in London. Near Borough Market, they saw a man attacking a police officer lying on the ground. When the man left the body of the officer and began to assault a woman (a French citizen who survived the incident due to Echeverría’s actions) Echeverría used his skateboard to strike the attacker, diverting his attention long enough that several people were moved to safety. He subsequently attacked a second terrorist who was also attacking a police officer. He was then stabbed twice in the back by two attackers, causing his death.

34 comments to “The attacker was shot dead by a passerby”

  • mickc

    Well done that armed civilian, who most likely served in the IDF and was therefore able to satisfy the strict conditions allowing him/her to carry a firearm.
    In the UK the rescuer would, of course, probably be charged with murder.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Perhaps Ignacio should have used the edge of the skateboard to strike?

  • staghounds

    It is more important that citizens think of themselves as impotent and dependent than that a few don’t get murdered.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Snorri Godhi,

    I think the point is that when a man runs forward armed only with what he happens to be carrying in order to take on two terrorists armed with knives, his odds of survival are low however he does it.

    Mr Echeverria seems to have been a fit and vigorous man who enjoyed many sports. In the space of a few seconds he went from strolling in the sunshine with friends to the last fight of his life, as he must have known was probable. His use of a skateboard as an improvised weapon certainly saved the life of the French woman, and probably other lives as well. Few men could have made better use of those few seconds.

    Good men with guns are not certain to live, and good men without guns are not certain to die. But the chances get better if you have a gun.

  • bobby b

    A disarmed people may be herded. Armed people must all be dealt with individually, dangerously. I prefer to be considered a danger.

  • XC

    FYI, Beersheba is a tiny place – about 200K people in the middle of nowhere. Think Cornwall.

    This is a big event there, I’m sure.


  • Gibbon (‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’) mocked

    “the cruel absurdity of the Roman princes, unable to protect their subjects against the public enemy, unwilling to trust them with arms for their own defence”

    to an English-speaking audience who enjoyed the right to bear arms. The American Revolution made that right constitutional. Soon after, the French Revolution was prepared by philosophers.

    The ‘douce de humanité’ was ever in their mouths. The thought of the mildest punishments on the greatest criminals made their flesh creep. Scarcely more would they allow for self-defence, which they compressed into such limits as to make it no defence at all.

    All the time they spoke thus, they meditated the massacres we have seen. (Edmund Burke)

    Only in America does the right to bear arms survive, and as Hannah Arendt warned,

    We begin to pay a high price when even revolutionaries in America talk as though they knew the French Revolution by heart but have never even heard of an American Revolution. (Hannah Arendt, ‘On Revolution’)

    “Failure to remember” she called it, writing more than half-a-century ago, although already aware that the academic popularity of such works of ‘history’ as Charles Beard’s ‘An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States’ was significant precisely because,

    There were almost no facts to support the pre-ordained conclusions.

    I think we realise now how much such ‘history’ is no mere symptom of that failure but the means to propagate it.

  • Schrödinger's Dog

    When I saw the headline, I thought the story was about an incident in Texas – or even my adopted home state of Florida.

  • bobby b

    Didn’t Beard essentially say, in many words, that the Constitution was written to protect me from y’all? Beard assumes that it was written by the elite to protect the elite, rich Me from y’all, but it turned out that that was the way to protect everyone. Is the basic disagreement with him simply based on how he characterizes the drafters’ motives – that they weren’t intending to protect the commoners, but it was just a happy accident that it does?

  • Fraser Orr

    There are very few positives to come out of Ukraine, but one I might propose is this:

    Leftie: “Nobody needs an AR-15”
    Rightie: “Tell that to Zelenskyy.”

  • I’ve been to Beersheba, my wife and I went there on our honeymoon and we had to pass through on our way to the Israeli Airforce Museum and what struck me is how busy Beersheba seemed to be. A stabber, whether motivated by their own internal demons or one following a twisted religious ideology, could do great damage in a crowded place such as a shopping centre or a bus station which means that said stabber needs to be stopped and stopped quickly.

    The problem is that as we saw with the jihadi inspired Streatham attack along with the London Bridge I and II attacks is that the police take time to arrive because the police can’t be everywhere all the time. Having armed civilians allows stabby jihadis to be taken out quickly before the police can get there and before the stabber does much more damage. It does appear to be the case here that the armed civilian probably saved a whole lot of lives by shooting the jihadi dead. In Britain the public does not have that option of having armed and trained civilians readily available to deal with threats like this. We have to stand there and be stabbed and wait for the police to turn up or use impromptu weapons to try to stop the stabber. Because Britain is a mostly disarmed society it is far easier for those of ill intent such as terrorists to create a lot of carnage before being properly stopped. That’s not the case with Israel. There are enough people with weapons permits in Israel to be reasonably sure that should a jihadi go on an outrage like this then there is a much higher chance than in Britain that the jihadi would be neutralised quickly.

  • bobby b

    Possibly the greatest benefit is that the stabby guys don’t tend to go where the shooty guys are known to hang out.

  • The Pedant-General

    Anyone remember the car that smashed into a parade in Belgium 3 days ago?

    There is not a single sniff of a follow up on the perpetrator since the initial reports.

  • The initial reports indicated that it was a consequence of a police chase. But I’ve seen nothing since…

  • pete

    I’d rather not have armed civilians.

    During my time as a shop assistant in my student years I saw many very angry customers including one who beat up a female colleague.

    Irate customers with guns are not a good idea as the USA shows.

    And then there are road rage incidents, drunken arguments, marital strife etc etc.

    Arming the public would cost many more lives than it’d save.

  • pete really does love the state.

    BTW, Ukraine now has a right for citizens to keep and bear arms.

  • llamas

    @ Pete – would you care to back up your assertions with some facts?



  • Pete you don’t need guns for savage people to kill shop assistants or murder people during a road rage incident or their partners in domestic incidents. Any examination of British crime stories will show multiple cases of murder by knife, blunt instrument, vehicle, poison or some other means other than firearms.

    The sort of people who would wantonly kill do not need access to firearms in order to do that. For example London’s murder rate is appalling at present and the majority of the deaths come via knife attacks.

    The people who are likely to kill will do so anyway whether or not firearms are available to them. The availability of firearms to law abiding,trained civilians may well, rather than increase danger, give valuable self defence tools to those who are faced with those who want to kill them.

  • Philippe Hermkens

    I am a Belgian. It seems that the car which smashed the parade was driven by a guy going too fast ( 90 km in place of 50 km) No drugs, no alcohool. He is a Belgian probably from an Italian origin. Nothing to do whith the Religion of Peace. Really

  • mickc

    As I said, the civilian was almost certainly ex IDF…in short, proficient in the use of firearms and disciplined as to when they are to be used. Consequently very different to the idea that he/she was “just an armed civilian”.

  • bobby b

    “I’d rather not have armed civilians.”

    I’d rather we had no need for armed civilians.

    And, I wish unicorns were real. That’d be cool.

  • pete

    Llamas, a quick google found this.


    And this.

    I’m not really surprised that if there are fewer guns about fewer people are killed by guns.

  • Pete, did they include the total number of homicides by category? Did they do a check on blue states vs. red states? Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.

  • llamas

    @Pete – with respect, the material you cite does not really speak to your original assertions about ‘road rage incidents, drunken arguments (and) marital strife.’ Maybe I was not clear in the way I asked the question. Perhaps you would care to support those specific assertions with some specific data.



  • Fraser Orr

    I’d rather not have armed civilians.

    So would Putin.

  • Allen

    Good on Ukraine.

  • Allen

    Knowing how to use a firearm isn’t “rocket science “.

  • Allen

    Yeah, oddly Putin doesn’t want his subjects to be armed.

  • bobby b

    Neither does Biden.

    Same reason.

  • Allen

    Both politicians would call their restrictions “compassionate.”

  • Allen

    @pete What tool should criminals use to murder others?

  • Paul Marks

    Murderers will always be able to get weapons – someone who intends to commit murder has no problem with breaking “gun control” regulations, and sees “Gun Free Zone” signs as just a sign that there are a lot of defenceless targets.

    The question is, are honest people going to be allowed to defend themselves and others?

    For it is only honest people who will care about the regulations – the regulations only disarm honest people. They do NOT disarm criminals who intend to do murder.

    Such places as Mexico and Chicago show this with horrible clarity – lots of gun control regulations, and lots and lots of murder-by-firearms.

    “But London has less murders than American cities”.

    London had a far lower murder rate than most American cities when my father was born (1913) and London had no gun control laws then – indeed MILLIONS of people in the United Kingdom owned firearms.

  • London had a far lower murder rate than most American cities when my father was born (1913) and London had no gun control laws then (Paul Marks, March 24, 2022 at 7:46 am)

    For the record, in 1913 a ten-year-old boy could buy a ‘saloon rifle’ (~ .22 IIUC) from a bicycle shop for seven shillings and sixpence (that’s 37.5 pennies in literal new money; I’ve seen a converter that makes it about £30 converted to today’s prices, but these historical inflation estimates are debatable). Larger weapons could be acquired from gun shops if a bit older and/or accompanied by an adult, but that was up to the shop – no laws restricted the guns an Englishman could buy and I believe I am correct in saying there were no reporting requirements.

    George Orwell, who was such a ten-year-old boy, notes that some chemists would also sell him gunpowder over the counter whereas others were a bit chary of selling quantities to a ten-year-old,

    “but an enterprising boy could buy the ingredients from three different shops and mix up his own.”

    In an old post, Natalie notes that during the “Siege of Sidney Street” (London, 1911) the unarmed British police acquired weapons with which to confront the would-be revolutionaries by borrowing them from passers-by.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)


    I saw this surveillance camera video, dating from three years ago today, posted to Twitter by “Some Welder” with the caption “Gun rights are women’s rights”.