A Palestinian man who saved the children of a West Bank rabbi after a deadly terror attack that killed him has been fired from his job, according to the head of Har Hevron Regional Council.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Yochai Damari said that the man is now unemployed due to Palestinian opposition to his actions and should be assisted by Israel.
“I met with him and he asked me to help remove any obstacle preventing him from receiving a work permit,” Damari wrote. Such a permit would allow the man to obtain employment inside Israel.
Rabbi Miki Mark was murdered in the July 1 shooting, his wife Chava was seriously injured, and their two teenage children were also hurt. The Palestinian rescuer and his wife, 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.
בשבוע שעבר ציינו חודש ימים להירצחו של יקירנו הרב מיכי מרק הי"ד.בתוך החושך של הפיגוע, פעלו שני תושבים ערבים וסייעו…
Now, Damari wrote, Israel owes it to the couple to help them find work.
“This week I wrote a letter to the defense 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 behavior will lead us [Israel] to also behave normally and positively,” he wrote.
The Palestinian man later told Israeli TV that he was initially unaware that the car was hit in an attack, and thought the family had been involved in a road accident.
“At first I thought it was an accident. I opened the door, which was difficult because the car was overturned,” the Palestinian told Channel 2. “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 staunch the bleeding from the teen’s abdominal wound while he called an ambulance.
“She was telling them in English, ‘Do not be afraid, we are here to help you,’” he recalled.
After he managed to pry one of the doors open, the man said he pulled 14-year-old Tehila Mark from the wrecked car.
The man said he then 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.
Responding to a comment on Facebook that railed at the “murdering Arab scumbags,” Chavi Mark’s sister, Yisca, was quick to point out that a Palestinian couple helped her 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.”