PA Arab who saved Jews from terrorist attack applies for permanent residency in Israel

'A.' saved some of the Mark children in the attack that killed their father. Ever since, he's been an outcast in the Palestinian Authority.

Yehonatan Gottlieb ,

The Mark family car following the terrorist attack
The Mark family car following the terrorist attack
Wisam Hashlamoun, Flash90

“A.,” a Palestinian Authority (PA) Arab who assisted in saving the lives of several members of the Mark family from the town of Otniel after they were attacked by gunfire, applied this week for permanent resident status in Israel.

The attack on the Mark family occurred in July of 2016 and resulted in the death of Rabbi Michael Mark, a father of ten, who was driving with his family on Route 60 when terrorists opened fire, discharging at least 20 bullets. The car overturned, and Rabbi Mark’s wife was seriously injured. Two of the couple’s children also sustained wounds.

When it emerged that “A.” had been involved in rescuing Mark family members from their attackers, “A.” became an outcast in PA society and was forced to abandon his family and live on the street.

In 2019, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri granted “A.” temporary resident status, and now that this is about to expire, “A.” has applied for himself and his family to be granted permanent residency.

Attorney Michael Litvak of the Betsalmo organization involved himself in “A.”’s appeal, and submitted his request directly to Minister Deri. “The period of residency [granted initially to “A.”] is about to expire,” Litvak wrote, “and therefore I am appealing to you now, before it is too late, to please grant him permanent residency, along with his family.”

Litvak added that, “This relates to a person who by any definition should be counted among the Righteous of the Nations, and furthermore, there is no doubt that if he returns to any area under the control of the Palestinian Authority, he will be persecuted and possibly even killed. My client wishes to be considered an Israeli citizen in every respect, and he has already proven that he is ready to risk his life for the citizens of the State. It is thus only right and just and ethical to provide my client and his family with permanent resident status.”

Shai Glick, head of the Betsalmo organization, has also stated that, “’A.’ saved the lives of several members of the Mark family, thereby endangering his own life. His deeds show unequivocally that he desires to live in peace and mutual toleration [with other Israeli citizens] and wishes to become a part of Israeli society. We owe it to him to welcome him with open arms – him and his family – and to grant them permanent residency. We appeal to Minister Deri not to delay and to immediately sign onto the authorization for this heroic rescuer and his family members.”