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An Arab paramedic who handled Israelis injured by Hamas militants is remembered as a hero

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When Hamas unleashed its assault on hundreds of Jews attending a music pageant in southern Israel earlier this month, an Israeli Arab paramedic insisted on staying on the scene to attempt to save lives.

In the long run, he gave his personal.

Awad Darawshe was 23, single, good-looking — however he wasn’t on the Tribe of Nova pageant to bounce. He labored for Yossi Ambulances and was amongst a group of paramedics assigned to work the pageant in a tent on the positioning’s periphery.

He was killed when Hamas militants slipped undetected into Israel from the Gaza Strip and butchered their means by the pageant crowd and into close by villages, settlements and kibbutzim.

Shortly after daybreak on Oct. 7, rockets pierced the skies. Grenades went off. Gunfire ricocheted in all places. Injured, bleeding revelers raced to the paramedics’ station. However the chaos rapidly escalated. Because the scope of the Hamas assault grew to become clear, the station’s chief ordered the paramedics to evacuate.

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Darawshe refused to depart. He was shot to loss of life whereas bandaging one of many injured.

Days later, after his physique was recognized, the surviving paramedics informed Darawshe’s household why he had chosen to remain. He felt that, as an Arab, he may one way or the other mediate with the attackers.

“He stated, ‘No, I’m not leaving. I converse Arabic, I believe I can handle,’” stated his cousin, Mohammad Darawshe, who spoke to The Related Press by phone from his dwelling in northern Israel.

That fateful choice has left the Darawshe household reeling with sorrow, their solely consolation the bravery of Awad’s actions.

“He introduced us loads of ache, he introduced us loads of agony, he introduced us loads of sorrow,” his cousin stated. “However he additionally introduced us loads of delight — as a result of he selected to stick with his mission till the final second.”

A funeral was held Friday in Iksal, a small Arab-majority village about 3 miles (5 kilometers) southeast of Nazareth. A number of thousand mourners attended.

The Darawshe household has lived in Iksal for generations. They’re a part of Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority that makes up about 20% of the inhabitants. They’re the descendants of Palestinians who stayed within the nation after the 1948 struggle surrounding Israel’s creation. Not like Palestinians residing within the occupied West Financial institution and Gaza, they’re full residents of Israel, however they face widespread discrimination. Tensions between them and Jewish Israelis flare repeatedly, significantly in occasions of struggle.

The pageant assault left at the least 260 Israelis {dead} and an undetermined quantity had been taken hostage. In Saturday’s brutal assault by Hamas, greater than 1,300 Israelis had been killed altogether, the worst bloodbath within the nation’s historical past. Israel declared struggle on Hamas the next day. As of Sunday, the battle has additionally left greater than 2,300 Palestinians {dead} and the Center East on the precipice of a wider conflagration.

Darawshe’s loss of life was confirmed by the Israeli International Ministry in social media posts, which stated Hamas not solely killed Darawshe however stole his ambulance and drove it to Gaza.

“A hero,” the International Ministry stated of Darawshe. “Might his reminiscence be a blessing.”

Mohammad Darawshe is the director of technique on the Givat Haviv’s Heart for Shared Society, a corporation that works to bridge the hole between Israel’s Jewish and Arab residents — the ethos of the Darawshe household for which Awad made the final word sacrifice.

“We’re very happy with his actions,” Mohammad Darawshe stated. “That is what we might anticipate from him and what we anticipate from everybody in our household — to be human, to remain human and to die human.”


Sampson reported from Atlanta.

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