Israeli authorities have decided to deport a Palestinian man to the West Bank after he helped save a Jewish family from a terror attack that killed the father. The man faces threats to his safety in the West Bank and wishes to remain in Israel.
The man, who has not been recognized by his name, left his home town near the West Bank city for Hebron after he sensed a swelling tide of resentment against him. Accusing him of being pro-Israeli, the man said his neighbors started calling him a “traitor” and would hurl rocks and Molotov cocktails at him.
“I was worried that when I left the house I would be burned alive,” he shared.
He was given a temporary visa to live and work in Israel by the Israeli Civil Administration that is the interface between Israel and the West Bank. In 2016, while he was living there, he was present at the scene of a terror attack that killed Rabbi Miki Mark and injured his wife Chava on July 1. He rushed to the crumbled car and managed to salvage the two teenage children of Rabbi Mark, 14-year-old Tehila and 15-year-old Pedaya. His wife also rushed to the scene and, using her training as a doctor, tried to staunch the bleeding from Tehila’s abdominal wound. Throughout this time, she continued to console them, telling them to not be afraid. As they waited for the ambulance, the Palestinian man held Pedaya and gave him some water and iodine.
“The girl told me, ‘God sent an Arab to help us,’” he added.
The kindness of the Palestinian strangers seems to have stuck with the family. When an Israeli posted on Facebook about the “murdering Arab scumbags,” Chava’s sister Yisca was quick to defend the Arab family.
“I really need to tell you that the first ones at the scene were an Arab couple who rescued my family members, gave first aid and called the ambulance,” she wrote. “I think that we should use the term terrorists and not Arabs, because not all Arabs are terrorists, and I’m saying this from experience.”
Despite his startling act of kindness and his reservations on his personal security in the West Bank, the Israeli authorities have decided that the Palestinian man in question can no longer stay in the country. The Defense Ministry unit that oversees the permits, known as the Coordinator of Government Activities in Territories (COGAT), suggested that the man’s visits to the West Bank while he was living in Israel may have been the reason why his permit was not renewed. As of now, the Palestinian man hopes to have a normal, secure life, as impossible as it may seem for him.
“I just want to live like a person,” he said. “A week ago they told me, ‘You can go back to the West Bank now.’ I asked them how I could return to the West Bank when I am threatened there.”
The kind man said he started receiving death threats from his hometown.
“They started calling me a traitor,” he told Hadashot news. “They started to throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at my car. I was worried that when I left the house I would be burned alive.”
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