In the moments after the Friday drive-by shooting attack that killed Rabbi Miki Mark outside the West Bank city of Hebron, a local Palestinian couple helped the surviving members of his family escape the overturned vehicle and administered first aid until first responders arrived at the scene.
“At first I thought it was an accident. I opened the door, which was difficult because the car was overturned,” the Palestinian man, a resident of Hebron, 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.”
After he managed to pry one of the doors open, the man, who wasn’t named in the report, said he pulled 14-year-old Tehila from the wrecked car.
He said his wife, who is a medical doctor, worked to stanch the bleeding from the teen’s abdominal wound while he called an ambulance to the scene.
“She was telling them in English, ‘Do not be afraid, we are here to help you,'” he recalled.
The man said he then pulled 15-year-old Pedaya out of 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.
On Friday morning, suspected Palestinian terrorists opened fire on the Mark family as they drove on Route 60, south of the West Bank city of Hebron. The gunfire caused the car to spin out of control and overturn.
Miki Mark was killed instantly, while his wife, Chavi, sustained serious injuries. On Sunday, doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital said Chavi Mark was brought out of a medically induced coma, and said her condition had stabilized. Doctors did not immediately tell her about the attack.
Pedaya was lightly injured and not hospitalized, and his sister Tehila, who sustained moderate injuries in the shooting, was briefly released from Hadassah to attend her father’s funeral Sunday afternoon.
In the days following the attack, some members of the Mark family emphasized to media outlets and friends offering condolences that a Palestinian couple was the first to offer assistance.
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 back. “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.”
At Rabbi Mark’s funeral on Sunday, his children silenced mourners who shouted for “revenge.” “Whoever wants to scream nonsense should leave,” one of them said. “This wasn’t what Abba [father] wanted. We are focusing on his memory and on doing good. He had Arab friends.”