Deri grants residency status to Arab who saved Jewish family

A., who saved the Mark family after a terrorist incident, was forced to flee his village to Israel, leaving his family behind.

Sara Rubenstein,

Mark family at the funeral of their father.
Mark family at the funeral of their father.
Credit: Hillel Meir/TPS

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri granted residency status to A., a Palestinian who saved the Mark family in 2017 after a terrorist attack in which the father of the family, Rabbi Michi Mark, was murdered.

"Rabbi Mark was murdered in front of his children and you bravely displayed great humanity," said Deri. "You helped the children, you took care of these children. I know you paid a high price for this in your circles. Once the case reached us, we want to make life easier for you and give you status in Israel so that you can live. You belong here. And if only, with the help of God, that this step should bring peace closer.

Following the terrorist attack on the Mark family, A. passed by and together with his wife, provided assistance to the wounded passengers despite the fact that the terrorist cell was still nearby. He stayed with the family until security forces arrived.

When it became known that A. had helped Jews, he was fired from his job, his life was threatened, and he was forced to flee from his village and live separately from his wife and baby. Furthermore, although A. was granted a residency permit, he lacked a work permit and has been living in poverty and has been unable to provide for his family.

President of Shurat HaDin (The Israel Law Center), Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, who has provided legal assistance for A. for the past two years, responded to Deri's decision: "The state of Israel should always pay its respects to those who assist it. Someone who saves Israeli citizens from an act of terror is deserving of the state's protection. A. needed a lot of courage to do what he did, but he did it without hesitation."

"The Minister of the Interior did the right thing by complying to our requests, and agreeing to grant A. and his family Israeli residency."




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