Yuval Patiev, a young Israel Defense Forces commander, recounted to ABC’s David Muir on Wednesday night’s special edition of “20/20” what happened early Saturday morning when he was among the first to respond to the Hamas attacks.
“One terrorist climbed under the tank,” Patiev told Muir of the militants who charged at his unit. “He put an explosive bomb right under my seat.”
The bomb went off and injured the 20-year-old, who is now in a hospital.
“When it exploded, I flew in the air. At that moment, I knew that I broke my leg,” he said.
Fearing he could lose his leg, Patiev took immediate action.
“I told my commander that he should take my tourniquet and should put it on that,” he said, adding, “I just did what they trained us [to do].”
The young soldier’s unit was trapped in their tank for hours, and from his hospital bed, he recalled seeing the faces of the militants who attacked.
“You look at them, and how could you do this to someone? All I saw was hate,” Patiev said. “So we just fought for our lives … and [we were] trying to pray that they won’t get to open the tank, won’t explode it. And God was with us; that’s all I can say.”