Friday, August 08, 2008

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Bulldozer First Hand Account

The following was received by email, a first hand account of the bulldozer terror attack, with photos...

By Zvi Bukspan, written on July 4, 2008

By now I am sure you have heard about the latest murderous terror attack in Jerusalem. Well, I had a front row seat to the terror attack (well in truth a back seat). I was on the # 13 bus, the one that was flipped over.

The 1st thing I saw were a lot of people running down the street in the opposite direction that our bus was traveling. It looked like a lot of people running to catch the bus behind us. I even turned around looking out the back window, but saw no bus!

Then it hit. A big smashing thud. I looked forward and suddenly the day seemed to turn to night. The windows were darkened by the huge shovel of the attacking tractor. Then I felt the bus being pushed and when it hit a curb the bus started to tip over. It fell over on its right side and continued being pushed. It kept moving until we hit a wall. The sound of the other passengers screaming was louder then the tractor trying to crush us.

Standing upright on what used to be intact windows, I saw through the back of the bus the tractor continue going down the street. The screaming never stopped. A solider that was in front of the tractor had to run for his life as shooting into the front had no effect with the large shovel as protection. I saw a female police officer point her gun at the tractor but did not see her shoot. Then the tractor plowed into another oncoming car. It was no contest. The mangled car ended up on a cement barrier 4 feet high!

The tractor kept going but then stopped, at which point we in the bus thought that he might come back and finish off the 35 of us still trapped in the inside.
Over the screaming and moaning I yelled for everyone to go to the middle of the bus, thinking it would be the safest part. Then I saw him drive off forward/away from us. I was only then able to breathe a sigh of relief. I had been trying to break the back window but I was wearing crocks and my foot just kept bouncing off.

I banged on the window and someone on the outside came over. The 1st thing on my mind was to hear that the terrorist was dead as I still feared him coming back for us. I pointed to the now stopped tractor and made a cut the throat gesture with my hand asking if the terrorist was dead. the person outside made a fist, with his thumb and index finger sticking out and lowered his thumb a few times quickly meaning that he was shot. I was amazed that I did not hear the shooting over all the screaming within the bus. I turned around and told everyone that it's over and he is not going to come back.

Finally some one came to break the glass from the outside. 2 blows with the butt of his M16 and I was out of there. After getting out I was finally able to take pictures. I had had my camera in my hand but I could not think about using it until I was outside.

I went over to where the mangled car ended up, checking on the driver. The woman seemed to fair far better than her mangled car. She was not conscious but seemed intact. I checked for a pulse. As I am not an expert and I knew that I was not relaxed I waited for more people to show up although I was the only one there at the time. Within a few minutes Zakah and MDA where on the scene. Then others came. We though it prudent to move her car flat on the ground, as it would have been hard to get her out with one end of the car in the air. You can see what we where doing at that time in this BBC video. I am wearing a (still) white short sleeve shirt and a grey backpack. (BBC Link)

We never did move the car but we did manage to get the driver out and onto a stretcher. We then carried her into the waiting ambulance that took her off.

By that time there were enough security forces as well as Zaka and MDA that we civilians were asked to leave the area. On the way out I took a few more pictures. That's when I saw the crushed remains of another car. I said to myself "I hope no one was in that".

Snap snap, a few more pictures and then I was out of that area and never looked back.

I felt fine and decided I should try to find a way to get home. I got onto another Egged bus going in the direction of where I hoped to get a ride home on the kids' school bus.

It's funny how time seemed to stop during the attack. Getting on the next bus I realized how little time had actually passed. My one hour transfer that I purchased on the #13 bus was still valid. Wow!

Only when I sat down on the bus did I noticed that my white shirt was no longer only white. It now had red stains all over it, and I gasped when I realized it was not my blood but that of the driver I helped out of the car and into the ambulance.

While on the bus a total stranger came up to me and said "do you know that your hands, arms and shirt are covered in blood. I was crying when I said "it was not mine but one of the wounded".

Another person offered me a bottle of water. No one has ever done that to me before; I must have looked like hell.

I got off the bus and started walking to where I needed to wait for the school bus that would take me back to the Yishuv.

It's funny (or perhaps sad), how I needed to cross I big street. I had a green light in a cross walk- but there was a BIG dump truck coming to the intersection .When I saw that the driver was an Arab I could not bring myself to go into the crosswalk . Even though I had a green light I could not get myself to trust the system of normal society when it comes to Arabs – not after what I had just experienced only 1 hour before.

Realizing what I must have looked like I decided not to get a ride on the kids' school bus.

I was on the phone trying to work out the details of a ride home. One of the people I called, asking if he was in town and nearby and able to give me a ride told me I must go to the hospital no matter what. He said would pick me up and take me himself! It was the RAV SHATS (head of security) of Yeshuv Metzad.

When I got to the hospital things started getting weird. There was a media circus focused around a woman who was screaming hysterically the entire time on the bus we were trapped in. I remember her well as I was very close to her on the bus. There is a picture of her in my album as she is exiting the bus through the broken window

(link below)

I then saw one of the children that were found around the area of the attack.

The bad part was that the doctor I was assigned to was an Arab and he did not even make the very necessary notes in my medical file that I was involved in the Peguah (attack). I needed to go to a Jewish doctor who made the necessary notes in my file. I still need to straighten that some more out next week.

The heart wrenching part is that I later found out that the woman (Elizabeth Goren-Friedman HY"D) I helped out of the car not only did not survive but had been killed/murdered instantly from the attack (she was not even alive when I was helping her). HALACHA NOTE: I need to have my blood stained shirt buried.

I have posted online a folder with the pictures that I took. Please view them last one first. Please view these with caution. Some are not pretty.

Link here. The password is wewantmoshiachnow


Anonymous said...

great and sad story maasher koach to all yidden that find a nechama in the torah

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