(JTA) — An Israeli man who drowned while rescuing a Bedouin woman and her three children from drowning in a lake will be honored with a posthumous award.
President Reuven Rivlin will present the Civil Medal of Distinguished Service to the wife and children of Michael Ben Zikri, 45, who died on Friday after jumping into a lake near Ashkelon to help four people struggling to stay afloat. Ben Zikri succeeded in getting them out of the water but did not manage to get out himself.
His body later was pulled out of the water by a rescue team. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The woman and her children were released from the hospital on Sunday. In an interview with the Kan public broadcaster, the children’s father called Ben Zriki a hero.
The Civil Medal of Distinguished Service is a new honor meant to commend exemplary behavior in Israeli society.