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Israel Welcomes Gazan Who Saved Lives on October 7

February 22, 2024

by: Hadar Gil-Ad ~ Ynetnews

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Israel welcomes Gazan Hamid Abu Ar’ar as an Israeli citizen after his act of bravery that saved several IDF soldiers on October 7 (illustrative).

Thursday, 22 February 2024 | Interior Minister Moshe Arbel on Wednesday granted resident status to Hamid Abu Ar’ar, father of 9 from a Negev Bedouin village and former Gaza resident, who risked his life to save dozens of soldiers on October 7.

“I work in agriculture, and on that Shabbat [the Sabbath], my wife drove me to work,” recalled Ar’ar. “We reached a junction and stopped to yield. The terrorists arrived on motorcycles and started shooting at us. My pregnant wife was killed on the spot, and I was injured in the leg. Our seven-month-old baby, who was with us in the car, suffered shrapnel wounds on the shoulder, and there was another person with us who worked with me and was also killed.”

For hours, Ar’ar had to hide with his infant son. “It took me a while to realize that these were Hamas terrorists who infiltrated Israel,” he said. “We called Magen David Adom and the police, but no one reached us. They told us to hide. There was an electrical cabinet there; I took my baby and we hid inside for five and a half hours. He cried all the time because he was hungry and tired.”

“After five and a half hours, Hamas terrorists arrived and were right next to us,” he recounts. “I heard them planning how to attack the soldiers. Minutes later, I heard people speaking Hebrew and approaching us. I peeked and saw Israel Defense Forces [IDF] soldiers. I was afraid of getting shot in the crossfire, but I realized I had nothing to lose—so I decided to make a move to save the soldiers and our lives.”

“The terrorists started shooting toward the soldiers, and the soldiers didn’t know where the gunfire was coming from,” he said. “I stripped off my clothes and walked toward the soldiers naked, with my baby in my arms, and warned them. I told them there were four terrorists there and explained to them where they were. We waited for another hour and a half until they extracted us from there.”

After the traumatic event, as he mourned his murdered wife, Ar’ar, who is not an Israeli citizen, had to face another fear—being deported from Israel and forced to leave his children. “That’s my biggest fear. Their mom is gone. Will I have to leave them, too?”

Following a thorough assessment and upon receiving recommendations from an advisory committee, Interior Minister Moshe Arbel granted Hamid permanent resident status. The evaluation submitted to the minister by the committee stated, “The applicant experienced a terror incident of the utmost severity known to the State of Israel, with his pregnant wife brutally murdered by despicable terrorists before his eyes. In such a case, Israel cannot remain indifferent and must intervene, especially considering that it involves a family of nine young children, Israeli citizens who have been orphaned by their mother’s death, with the applicant being their sole pillar of support.”

Arbel addressed Ar’ar, acknowledging, “The courageous act you performed, risking your life mere moments after the cold-blooded murder of your wife. In doing so, you saved the lives of numerous IDF soldiers.”

“Your actions and words have touched the hearts of us all,” he said. “The citizens of Israel and the IDF soldiers are all deeply grateful to you. The Interior Ministry recognizes and declares you an inseparable part of the State of Israel. I see it as my privilege to present you with your ID card. The news that you and your children are an integral part of the Israeli identity is a momentous one for the country and all its citizens.”

Posted on February 22, 2024

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on February 21, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Geagea/

Photo License: Wikimedia