‘They shot at us, then dad stopped moving,’ rabbi’s son recalls
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‘They shot at us, then dad stopped moving,’ rabbi’s son recalls

Pedaya Mark, 15, whose father Miki was killed in Friday’s West Bank terror attack, says Palestinian passersby helped keep family safe until help arrived

Israeli police officers look for evidence at the scene where an Israeli was killed and three of his family members were wounded in a shooting attack south of Hebron on July 1, 2016 (AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADER)
Israeli police officers look for evidence at the scene where an Israeli was killed and three of his family members were wounded in a shooting attack south of Hebron on July 1, 2016 (AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADER)

The son of Rabbi Miki Mark, who was murdered in a drive-by shooting south of Hebron on Friday afternoon, recounted the moments of the attack, when the family’s vehicle came under fire and overturned.

“They shot at us from my sister’s side, she was sitting to my left,” Pedaya Mark said shortly after the incident.

“And then dad suddenly stopped moving and the car overturned.”

Mark, the head of a yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Otniel, was killed in the attack near Beit Hagai on Route 60, when terrorists apparently overtook the family’s car in a second vehicle and riddled it with bullets.

The car spun out of control and overturned. Mark’s wife was seriously injured and Pedaya’s 14-year-old sister suffered moderate-to-serious wounds. Pedaya, 15, was lightly injured.

Pedaya said Palestinian passersby helped the surviving family members escape the vehicle.

Pedaya Mark, the son of Otniel yeshiva head Miki Mark speaks to Channel 2 of the terror attack in which his father was killed on July 1, 2016 (Channel 2 News)
Pedaya Mark, the son of Otniel yeshiva head Miki Mark speaks to Channel 2 of the terror attack in which his father was killed on July 1, 2016 (Channel 2 News)

“Arabs succeeded in opening the door and took us out and put us in [another] car so that nothing will happen to us,” the boy recalled in a Channel 2 interview.

Walla News reported that a Palestinian man called in rescue forces, while his wife attended to Pedaya’s sister. A Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance was first to treat the victims at the scene. Israeli Magen David Adom teams arrived shortly afterwards.

Miki Mark (Facebook)
Miki Mark (Facebook)

MDA paramedic Zaki Yahav said, “It was a very grave picture. We saw a vehicle turned over on its roof, a vehicle carrying four family members. Inside the car was a man in his forties. He was unconscious, no pulse or respiration, and suffered gunshot wounds as well as injuries from the accident.”

Yahav said medical teams began treating Mark but “shortly afterwards we were forced to declare him dead at the scene.”

The paramedic said Mark’s wife was barely concious, with gunshot wounds in her upper body.

“We gave her swift care at the scene, put her on an ambulance and evacuated her to hospital sedated and ventilated, while administering life-saving treatment.”

The victims were taken Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.

Security forces were searching the area for the perpetrators, who fled the scene after the attack, the army said in a statement.

The military placed an effective closure on Hebron after the shooting to prevent further assaults in the area, and significantly increased the presence of soldiers in the area, an army spokesperson said. Hebron has been the source of many of the attacks on civilians and security forces in recent months.

The government, meanwhile, announced an immediate cut to tax funds it collects for the Palestinian Authority, saying it would deduct the amount the Palestinian leadership pays to the families of terrorists.

A meeting of the high-level security cabinet was set for Saturday night, when ministers could decide on further punitive steps.

Hours after the assault, friends and family of the slain rabbi described him as a pillar of his community, a hard-worker and a dedicated father.

Bullet holes in the door of an Israeli car hit in a drive-by shooting near Hebron that killed at least one person on July 1, 2016 (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Bullet holes in the door of an Israeli car hit in a drive-by shooting near Hebron that killed at least one person on July 1, 2016 (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

His nephew Elhanan Kalmanson said “Miki said more than once that in these cases [of terror victims] we always see that…the best of the best are chosen. How right he was. There was no one better than Miki.”

Friday’s attack came a day after a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist broke into the Kiryat Arba settlement outside of Hebron and stabbed to death a 13-year-old girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, as she slept in her bed.

Hours later, a Palestinian man from the city of Tulkarem in the West Bank stabbed and wounded an Israeli man and woman in the coastal city of Netanya.

And on Friday morning, a Palestinian woman was shot and killed as she attempted to stab a group of border guards in Hebron with a knife that she had hidden in her bag, according to police.

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