Who will rescue the rescuer?

PA resident who rescued Jewish family from terror attack told to return to PA despite threats to his life. 'They will kill me immediately.'

Asaf Mishnayot ,

The attack where Rabbi Mark was murdered
The attack where Rabbi Mark was murdered
,Wisam Hashlamoun Flash 90

Two years and a month have passed since the deadly shooting attack near the settlement of Otniel, where Rabbi Michael Mark was murdered.

During the ride to their home in Shneiel, the Mark family's vehicle was attacked by terrorists from the village of Adora, who shot 19 bullets from a moving vehicle, and the families vehicle was overturned, killing Rabbi Mark and wounding other members of the family.

The terrorists attempted to return to make sure that the entire family had died, but then A. and his wife, who are Arabs, came from the village of Al Fawwar, near Otniel. "We came back from Be'er Sheva, where I picked up my sister-in-law, who was working in their town, and suddenly I saw the overturned vehicle, and immediately I stopped the vehicle and went out to see what had happened, and then I saw the wounded and the bullets." The terrorists who saw the vehicle stop by the Mark family decided to flee, but A. recognized the number on the license plate of their vehicle. Later that night, A. provided an accurate description of the vehicle and the village from which the terrorists had arrived, and they were arrested within a short time.

When A. saw the condition of the wounded, he immediately began trying to rescue them. "The car door was locked, and I had to break the windows to get the kids out, they were scared and afraid at first because they thought I was another terrorist, but in the end they were convinced and got into my car. My wife, who is a nurse, treated them. I told the boy to call the police and ask them to come quickly, because there was a terrorist attack and there were serious injuries, so I went back to trying to save the mother. Her seat belt was wrapped around her neck and it took me a while to get her released. "

During the long minutes that passed before the police arrived, the nightmare that A. has been going through for the past two years had begun. Passengers from Arab cars passed by cursing A. and called him a traitor for daring to save Jewish lives. "They were shouting at me why I was helping the Jews and not letting them die ... It was the most important thing to me to protect the children, that nothing would happen to them, and I was not prepared to let those rioters harm them. They told me they knew where I lived and that I would pay for having protecting Jews," he said.

Hate messages, threats and attempted murder

The calls and threats that A. and his wife received that night were only the prelude to what was to come. Two weeks after the attack, A.'s private Facebook profile began to be filled with hateful messages and threats to his life and the lives of his family. A week later, A. was fired from his job as a security guard in Ramallah, where he had worked for four years. Two weeks later, anonymous men from the village of Adora, from which the terrorists set out, tried to murder his brother, who was hospitalized in Israel after the attempted assassination. A. himself was hit by stones thrown at him and at his wife, who was pregnant at that time with their only son.

The breaking point, from his point of view, came about three months after the attack. When he returned home in the evening, a vehicle appeared behind him and tried to push him into the abyss.That same night, A. turned to political activist Itai Shapira to help him. "My acquaintance with A. began during the shiva [for Rabbi Mark], and he and his wife wanted to come to comfort the family, and I helped him with it, and we brought them through a side door and there they were in private."

Shapira helped to obtain a temporary permit to stay in Israel for a month, in order to protect his life. "I had a permit to stay in Israel, but I did not have permission to work, I slept like a homeless person at a train station in Ashdod, without money and without food. Then I went to the beach. I would collect food from the tin cans so as not to starve, to eat something," he recalled.

Despite the threat to his life which was brought about by his heroism, A. only received temporary residency permits once every six months to remain in Israel. During this period, he only saw his newborn son through Whattsapp videos. As he did not receive a work permit, he could not seek out gainful employment in Israel. No one agreed to hire me, because I do not have permits, and they kept telling me that if I joined them they'd get in trouble. The only ones willing to hire me agreed to pay me just ten shekels an hour. They knew I had no choice but to agree. I work 15-16 hours a day and earn 150 shekels.

So where do you live?

"In my storeroom, I built my own bathroom with my own hands because there was no one, I shower in a dishwasher, that's my situation today."

His family in the Palestinian Authority continues to suffer repeated attacks while he stays in Israel. "My family is being boycotted in the village. They are always shouting that they are traitors, and that their son saved Jews. My father is a disabled person, because of me he does not receive the services that come because they do not want to give him services because of me. When it happened, we were a young pregnant couple, and since our wedding we lived more separately than together, and I never hugged my son."

Another tragedy has recently befallen A. Last week, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories notified A. that he would no longer be entitled to receive a residency permit to remain in Israel and that he would have to return to the PA, even though his life remains in danger.

he announcement said that he was given three days to be forced to return to his village.

"Three weeks ago, this mess started about three weeks ago," Shapira said. "Suddenly they told him that he had no more approval. I immediately turned to the District Coordination Office in Hevron to understand what had happened, and the person responsible for his case said there had been a mistake, that they would arrange it and that he would not have to leave. But then came COGAT's announcement."

Did they explain why he couldn't stay any longer?

"At first we asked for the full protocol of the committee, but then we were told that it was confidential, but later we asked to give us only the reasons, but that was also considered confidential."

How can you fight this decision in the month that remains?

"As long as we do not have the arguments, we have no way to fight it, only broad public pressure can change that."

A. knows exactly what awaits him if he is forced to return to the PA. "They will kill me as soon as they hear that I'm back. They will never forget, no matter how long it takes them. They are jihadists. They have no borders. They will shoot you in front of your children. They will burn you and your children alive for revenge. They are just sending me to die. "

After you see the price you have to pay, do you have the regret that you decided to save the Mark family?

"I will tell you more: Even today, when I know the price, I would do it over and over again. If this is the price I have to pay to save children, I am willing to pay it, but it hurts. The possibility of living safely with my wife and son is all. "

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said in response: "A.'s request was received by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, and he was given continuous permits to stay in a special committee until a decision was reached on his behalf in the framework of the special committee. According to all the information presented and explained to the Committee - whose part could not be detailed - and after consultation with all security officials, the committee decided not to renew his exceptional permit to stay in Israel, and to emphasize that during his stay in Israel, A. entered the Palestinian Authority several times."