Elad Barzilai and his family
Elad Barzilai and his familyצילום: אילה איבגי - 'לרשום באור'

Elad Barzilai, a resident of Acre who was seriously injured in an attempted lynching carried out by Arab rioters two weeks ago, opened his eyes for the first time Tuesday.

Doctors at the Galilee Medical Center are pleased with Barzilai's improvement and have begun to wean him from the assisted breathing machine he has been attached to since the attempted lynching.

Barzilai has undergone two significant surgeries and is expected to undergo a third surgery. The family has requested that the public pray for the recovery of Elad ben Julia, among all the sick of the Jewish People.

The director of the medical center, Prof. Masad Barhum, who visited Elad today, says: "This is a very exciting moment. I would like to thank the neurosurgical department in general and the neurosurgical intensive care unit in particular, for their wonderful work and professional and dedicated care for Elad. Although he still has a long way to go, it is certainly possible to express cautious optimism now."

Barzilai is married with four children and a teacher in a local high school that belongs to the Amit network of schools which provide a “Jewish values-based education,” according to their website.

Immediately prior to the attack in which he almost lost his life, Barzilai had gone out on the street in search of his students, in order to prevent them from joining in the violence that was already raging. A gang of Arabs pounced on him and attacked him viciously, pounding him with rocks and metal rods.

The Amit organization issued a statement following the attack: “Elad, an exemplary teacher, wanted to protect his students on that terrible night in his city, and fell victim to a horrific attempted lynch at the hands of rioting Arabs. We demand that the police stop these rioters who tried to kill him. As soon as we learned of the attack, Elad’s own students along with other students from the Amit high school in Akko were given counseling and support by our teachers and our staff of counselors, to help them to process the terrible news and deal with it.”