Palestinian who helped save Mark family granted permanent residency

Once it became known that "A" had helped save Jews, he was shunned in PA society.

Yehonatan Gottlieb ,

Memorial service for Rabbi Michael Mark Hy"d
Memorial service for Rabbi Michael Mark Hy"d
Ran Dahan/TPS

On Sunday, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) approved a request for permanent residency on the part of “A,” a Palestinian Arab who assisted the Mark family of Otniel, and played a significant part in saving the lives of several family members when they came under terrorist attack.

The attack concerned, in which the father of the family, Rabbi Michael Mark, was killed and his wife seriously injured, occurred in 2016. Once it became known that “A” played a part in rescuing the family from the shooting attack, he was totally shunned in Palestinian society and was forced to abandon his home and live on the street.

In 2019, the then-Interior Minister, Aryeh Deri, approved a request made on “A’s” behalf for temporary residency. When this permit expired, “A” applied for permanent residency on his own behalf and also for his family, but Deri turned down the request. Shaked, however, has decided to approve it.

Upon announcing her decision, Shaked quoted the Talmudic statement: “Whoever saves a single life saves an entire world.” She added that, “’A’ saved the lives of the Mark family from a murderous attack. Since then, he has been persecuted for his ‘crime.’ We will never turn our backs on our good friends. Today, I have approved ‘A’s’ request for permanent residency.”

The current application on “A’s” behalf was submitted by attorney Michael Litvak of the Betsalmo organization, which is headed by Shai Glick, who welcomed the development.

“This is a very special and important decision,” Glick said, “one that demonstrates that anyone who helps the Jewish People will not be abandoned by us, G-d forbid.”

Glick added that, “Mr. ‘A’ has a very brave deed to his credit. He was prepared to endanger his own life in order to save the lives of the Mark family. The citizens of the State of Israel now all welcome Mr. ‘A’ to the State of Israel, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who played a part in this decision, and especially MK Mossi Raz, who did so much to bring this matter to its happy conclusion.”