When terrorists gunned down Rabbi Michael Mark and his wife Chava in a drive-by shooting last Friday – killing the father of 10 and critically wounding his wife – the car they were traveling in lost control and flipped over, leaving them and two of their children – aged 13 and 14 – trapped inside.
Their daughter was also wounded from the gunfire, while their son was lightly injured from the accident.
It was at that point they were saved by an unlikely hero: a Palestinian, formerly imprisoned for terrorist activities, who happened to be passing immediately after the attack..
At first, he said he thought he was witnessing the aftermath of a serious car accident, and noticed the two children crying for help. After extracting them from the overturned car and placing them in his own vehicle for safety, he waited for a Red Crescent ambulance to arrive. Only after security forces arrived did he realize the pair had been wounded in an attack, and their parents were still inside the stricken vehicle.
"We saw an overturned car, I stopped my vehicle at the side of the road and got out," he told Israel's Channel 2. "I tried to open the door, but the car was totally locked. All the doors were locked, front and back."
"I saw two children inside screaming and asking me to help them. I reached out and for two minutes tried to open the door in order to get to the children who were suffocating inside the car," he recounted.
"I think that if they were left a little longer, those children would have suffocated (to death) in the car."
"When I reached the young daughter she spontaneously, in a panic, grabbed me and jumped on to me," he recalled. "I immediately put my hand on her head and spoke to her – in Hebrew, of course. I said to her 'don't be afraid, I will help you, don't worry.'"
He said that it was only once the army and other security forces arrived, and once the two children began being treated, that it dawned on him that the incident had been a terrorist attack.
But he said it made no difference to him "whether it was an attack or not, as a humane person, someone with a human heart."
"What I did I did out of my humanity. They were children, there were children inside, there were people inside. I didn't hesitate at all."