New footage shows Israel Defense Forces soldiers extracting five American yeshiva students from Hebron on Thursday, after they became trapped in the West Bank city following riots triggered by their presence.
The five were given shelter by a local Palestinian when their car was set alight after a wrong turn en route to the Tomb of the Patriarchs took them into the predominantly Arab southern part of the city.
The grainy video shows the five, dressed in a traditional ultra-Orthodox manner, being instructed by the soldiers to thank the man who rescued them. One of the men, with clearly visible blood stains on his shirt, blows a kiss in the Palestinian man’s direction.
“We are evacuating you now in ambulances in the direction of Kiryat Arba, okay?” says one of the soldiers, referring to the Jewish settlement on the outskirts of Hebron.
The footage also shows soldiers securing the area around the house, before bringing yeshiva students outside and into a waiting Israel Police jeep.
Two of the students, from Brooklyn in New York, were lightly-to-moderately injured in the riot that ensued after they accidentally entered the area.
Faiz Abu Hamadiah, 51, took the men into his home and dispatched local youths to inform the IDF at a nearby checkpoint of their presence.
“They were very anxious, one was injured and bleeding from his face,” he told the Israeli website NRG. “I told them in Hebrew that it would be okay, I gave them water, and I helped the injured man. I told them they were safe in my house.”
Hamadiah dismissed concerns that he would be branded a “collaborator” by his neighbors. “I did the right thing,” he said. “We need to live here together.”