Note: we are republishing this story amid recent reports of a surge in violent crime across America during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A Vietnam veteran was injured after a terrorist rammed into him and another man with his vehicle. What the veteran said to the terrorist right before the attack left many stunned.
A 17-year-old terrorist drove his car into 70-year-old Vietnam veteran David Ramati, as well as another 35-year-old man, according to Israel National News.
The 35-year-old man was seriously injured and will be undergoing brain surgery to repair the damage. He is currently listed in stable, but serious condition.
Ramati was only slightly injured in the attack and said he was able to avoid being more seriously hurt.
"The terrorist drove past me, then made a U-turn, and at that point I understood that he was planning to attack me," Ramati told Army Radio, according to the Israel National News. "I realized that I didn't have time to draw my gun, so I jumped the fence. While I was in the air [jumping the fence], he managed to run into me with his car."
Ramati recalled that right before the young man drove into him, he smiled at him. That's when he said one thing that has left readers stunned.
"I saw the smile of the terrorist's face," he said. "I told him, 'You're not going to kill me today.' I wasn't afraid."
The attack took place in the Gush Etzion area of Israel, south of Jerusalem.
The young man was shot by Israel Defense Force soldiers after he got out of the truck and attempted to stab them.
Ramati told The Times of Israel that he received a call from a U.S. representative following the attack.
The veteran also received a call from U.S. Deputy Consul General in Jerusalem. He wished Ramati a speedy recovery and thanked him for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Ramati is a Chicago native who fought in the Vietnam War. He currently lives in the Kiryat Arba settlement in Israel. Under international law the area is considered Palestinian territory, but the Israeli government disputes this and has allowed Jewish settlers to live there.
Following his 19-month service in Vietnam, Ramati studied at the University of Wisconsin. He and his wife decided to to move to Israel in 1975 after becoming inspired to convert to Judaism.
The veteran served in the IDF for 25 years and rose to the rank of captain.
Following his retirement, Ramati became an author. He coauthored "Destiny of Memories: Fire and Rain" and "God's Chosen, Renaissance" about his experiences serving in the Vietnam War.