Palestinian who rescued American yeshiva boys: ‘I’m not a hero’


(JTA) — A Palestinian man who sheltered five American Jews from fire bomb attacks in Hebron said he only did “what needed to be done.”

Faiz Abu Hamdiah, who on Thursday took the five yeshiva students into his home to prevent their lynching, recalled the incident Friday in an interview with Ynet.

“I’m not a hero,” he said. The five students, all tourists, made a wrong turn on their way to Hebron’s Cave of Patriarchs, which is under Israeli control, when their car came under attack on the street in Hebron’s Jabel Juhar neighborhood. Unidentified individuals hurled stones, rocks and fire bombs at their car, which was consumed by flames.

Recognizing a threat to their lives, Abu Hamdiah took the students into his home, gave them water, assured them they were safe and called police to request their extraction. Troops arrived 40 minutes later in a hastily-organized operation.

“As soon as we saw the mess starting up my family and I took them in, gave them a glass of water and tried to explain that nothing would happen to them, though they didn’t speak any Arabic,” he recalled.

Two of the tourists sustained minor injuries during the attacks.

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