Mohammed Jabari, Arab arrested on suspicion of starting hotel fire
Mohammed Jabari, Arab arrested on suspicion of starting hotel fireFlash 90

The Oz family is still hospitalized at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, after being seriously injured in a motel fire almost two weeks ago in the capital.

All four were hospitalized in critical condition and were sedated and on artificial respiration after inhaling smoke and sustaining burns. As the family and children recover, the father Ronen is still unconscious in critical condition.

"We woke up to sounds of explosions. Ronen understood this was a fire and he began to put it out in all kinds of ways," Ilanit Oz recounted in an interview with Morning News. "There was no window in the room and smoke was coming in through the doorway. It was like getting stuck in a cave; we couldn't breathe, I woke the children and they started to choke and vomit. I sprayed them with the shower from the bath until help came."

Ilanit Oz
Ilanit OzKeshet 12

After the parents took action and revealed unknown reservoirs of inner resourcefulness, rescue forces arrived. "When the fire brigade arrived, they didn't know where we were. Ronen shouted at them and then he began to hand over the children and me one by one to the firemen. He inhaled all the direct smoke and fire and was therefore the most seriously wounded of all of us. Afterwards, the firefighters told us that when they arrived a large electric cable fell and blocked their way. A moment before Ronen was evacuated, he was all full of soot; we were all like that. He's still sedated and on respiration, but yesterday there was good news that he no longer needed oxygen in the respirator, so there's hope for the best."

Police say an Arab eastern Jerusalem resident is suspected of setting fire to the “Jaffa 60” motel in the capital, and that a Shechem resident who today lives with her Jewish partner and two children in Jerusalem was also involved. They say the male was a disgruntled and frustrated employee who quarreled with the owners and set fire to the hotel, but Ilanit is not convinced.

"The worker stuck around after his deed, and it's clear to me that the background is nationalist and that this was terror. Why would he want to hurt us if he didn't have general hatred? The employer he allegedly wanted to hurt wasn't there at the time. He didn't feel remorse but wanted to make sure his action achieved its goal."