A Palestinian man, who, along with his wife, saved the children and wife of a West Bank rabbi after a deadly terror attack that killed the rabbi, has been fired from his job for “assisting Israel”.
Rabbi Miki Mark was murdered in July when Palestinian terrorists opened fire on the family’s car, killing Miki and causing the car to crash and flip on to its roof. The Rabbi’s wife, Chava, was seriously injured in the attack (and it still hospitalised) and their two teenage children were also hurt.
A Palestinian couple, who are residents of the Hebron area, helped the surviving members of the Mark family escape their overturned vehicle and administered first aid until first responders arrived at the scene. The daughter who was wounded said to the man, “God sent an Arab to save me”.
It later transpired that the man was fired from his job because his courageous actions were seen as “assisting Israel” by his bosses.
Now a Jewish settler, Yochai Damari, who is the head of the Har Hevron Regional Council is helping the couple to obtain work permits in Israel in what Damari describes as “our obligation as the Jewish nation”.
In a Facebook post, Damari wrote:
“This week I wrote a letter to the defence minister [Avigdor Liberman], requesting help in getting a work permit for the two of them. I met with them, I am aware of the difficulties, but I think that in cases like this it is our obligation as the Jewish nation to show our thanks to people who behave as upstanding people and act in a way expected of them in situations like this,” Damari said.
“Particularly at this time we must strengthen the positive forces and send a clear message that normal positive behaviour will lead us [Israel] to also behave normally and positively,” he wrote.
Explaining the incident more in-depth, the Palestinian man gave a TV interview and explained the events of that fateful evening.
“At first I thought it was an accident,” he said. “I opened the door, which was difficult because the car was overturned. The girl was inside the car screaming, ‘They’re killing us,’ so I just kept telling her not to be afraid and that everything would be fine.”
He said his wife, who is a medical doctor, worked to stop the bleeding from the teen’s abdominal wound while he called an ambulance.
The man recalled his wife talking to them in English saying, “Do not be afraid, we are here to help you.”
The man was eventually able to release the children from the car, pulling the 14-year-old Tehila Mark first before removed 15-year-old Pedaya Mark from the car, and attempted to calm him.
“I took the boy and I hugged him. I gave him some water and applied iodine, and just kept telling him that everything was going to be fine,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me if it was an accident or a terror attack, it’s irrelevant. These are people, children, who need help, and if I can help, I will help them.
“The girl told me, ‘God sent an Arab to help us,’” he added.
It is stories like these that help to crush negative stereotypes that people have of others and is a good reminder of the parable of the Good Samaritan, where Jesus teaches us not to judge others because help can come from the most unlikely of places.