It sounds like the plot of a novel. A Jewish tour guide who survived a Palestinian terror attack that left her Christian friend dead helped shelter an Arab teen who got death threats after voicing support for Israel’s summer operation in Gaza.
British-born Kay Wilson said that she helped hide Mohammad Zoabi throughout the summer war in Gaza, before he was able to flee to the United States in fear of his life.
Seventeen-year-old Zoabi, an Israeli Arab from Nazareth, was forced to leave the country after receiving death threats for posting a YouTube video harshly condemning the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers by a Hamas-affiliated terror cell in June.
In the YouTube video, Zoabi, wrapped in an Israeli flag, called for the release of the three teens and urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop negotiating with Palestinian terrorists.
Zoabi, who is a distant relative of controversial Balad MK Hanin Zoabi, describes himself as an Israeli Zionist Arab Muslim.
He continued to make YouTube videos declaring his support for the Jewish state and encouraging Arab citizens to join the Israeli army, leading his lawmaker relative to publicly distance herself from him. He also faced threats from his own relatives.
At the height of the July-August Gaza war, it became evident that Zoabi had to leave his hometown. He ended up staying with Wilson over the summer while an Orthodox Jewish organization that asked not to be named arranged his passage to the US.
Wilson, who was living in Modiin at the time, said she was touched by the teenager’s courage and initially contacted him after finding out they had a mutual friend. “I helped him because I know from the machete scars on my own back that death threats should always be taken seriously,” she wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. “I helped him because, like me, he is a human being.”
Fearing he would be recognized in public during his month-long stay at Wilson’s home, Zoabi wore a kippa (Jewish skullcap), and was introduced to friends and neighbors as her nephew “Charlie” visiting from the UK. The two were undeterred by the high tensions that surrounded the Gaza conflict and the missile-defense sirens that became routine during the conflict, and managed to take trips around the country and even participated in archaeological digs in the Galilee.
On a day trip to Tel Aviv, the two drove by a left-wing “Peace Now” demonstration. Zoabi promptly pulled out an Israel flag and confronted the protesters, shouting at them, “You don’t understand what’s really happening!”
Wilson said she did not consider Zoabi a guest, but a friend. He was there for her while she attended an emotional Supreme Court appeal by the terrorist who stabbed her and murdered her friend, she said. He was also there for her sixth appeal at the National Insurance Institute, where she is fighting to have a psychological disability recognized in the wake of the terror attack.
In December 2010, Wilson and Kristine Luken, a Christian tourist visiting from the US, were attacked by Palestinian terrorists while hiking outside of Jerusalem. After he attackers noticed Wilson’s Star of David necklace, the two women were bound, gagged and stabbed dozens of times with a serrated knife. Wilson was stabbed 13 times, but had the wherewithal to pretend to be dead and then, wounded and still gagged and bound, walked for over a kilometer until she found help. Luken died immediately of her wounds.