Palestinian Who Saved Jewish Family From Lynch Granted Permanent Residency

Friends and family carry the body of Rabbi Miki Mark, Hy”d, at the levayah at the Otniel Yeshivah in 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked this week granted permanent residency to A., a Palestinian man who saved the lives of three members of the Ettinger family who were shot at by terrorists on a highway in the Shomron on June 30, 2016.

The father of the family, Rabbi Michael Mark, Hy”d, lost his life in the attack, but wife Chava, son Pedaya and daughter Tehila survived thanks to the first aid provided by A. and his wife, who also alerted law enforcement. He had been the director-general of Otniel Yeshivah.

Rabbi Michael Mark, a father of ten, was driving his car with his wife and two children along Route 60 near Mount Chevron, when they were cut off by another vehicle, and bullets started flying. Mark’s car flipped over after swerving off of the road. When police arrived they found upwards of 20 bullet casings inside Mark’s car. He died on the scene, and his wife and children who were in the vehicle were treated at a local hospital. The terrorist who killed Rabbi Mark had been in hiding since carrying out the attack, but was located on July 26, 2016, and killed by Israeli security forces.

News of a Palestinian who helped save the lives of Jews traveled fast to Ramallah, and A.’s family began to receive death threats. In an effort to protect his family members, A. fled to Israel, leaving his parents, wife and newborn son behind. For three years, he lived without a roof over his head, scraping for food and living under bridges.

Sometime after, A.’s wife joined him in Israel and in November 2019, due to public pressure, the Interior Ministry provided the couple with a temporary residence visa.

His full name was not released, for security reasons.

After granting the two permanent residency, Shaked said: “He who saves one life it’s as if he saved the entire world. A. saved the life of the Ettinger family in a deadly attack, for which he has been persecuted relentlessly. We will never turn our back on a friend. That is why I approved his permanent residency in Israel.”

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