Moti Ben Shabbat
Moti Ben ShabbatCourtesy of the family

Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz on Wednesday evening commented on the tragedy in Nahariya when 38-year-old Moti Ben Shabbat drowned while attempting to rescue several people from floods.

"A hero of Israel. He did not fight in battle or against terrorists. Moti Ben Shabbat today saw a family drowning in the stream that overflowed in Nahariya and did not think twice and jumped to save them at a terrible cost of his own life. Devotion in the full sense of the word, "Rabbi Peretz wrote on Twitter.

He added, "May your memory be for a blessing, Moti, we will remember your resourcefulness and courage. The people of Israel salute you."

Nahariya Mayor Ronan Marelli expressed his condolences to Ben Shabbat's family.

"The man is a hero. He went to rescue a family and sadly got swept away. He was pronounced dead at the scene. I went and participated in the CPR efforts, but nothing could be done. We will strengthen the family, this is a serious disaster for the city," he said.

"At this point, the city is besieged, the Gaaton stream is blocked, it is impossible to cross, north, south, in general," said the mayor, adding that "we are expecting more complex days. The rains that are falling are continuing to flow towards Nahariya and into the Gaaton - no longer into the stream but to Gaaton Street and it’s headed west. I really hope it settles down and we can get back to normal."

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education announced that there will be no classes on Thursday in Nahariya, the Mateh Asher Regional Council and the Ma'ale Yosef Regional Council due to the floods. The matriculation examination in Bible will not be held in those areas.

The Ministry of Education said: "The Examination Division will announce an alternate and new date in the coming days to allow students in these places to write the test in an orderly fashion."