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Palestinians risk lives to save wounded Israelis after attack

Most days, we wake up to headlines touting stories of conflict and violence between Israelis and Palestinians, but today, we are sharing a heartwarming story about a group of citizens rising above their differences to help people in need.

Last week, Rabbi Michael Mark was driving in the West Bank with his family when a Palestinian gunman opened fire on his car. While Mark was killed, his wife and daughter were injured, and his son left unwounded.

While this happens sadly with some frequency, this story takes a different turn. Rather than driving on and minding their own business, a group of Palestinians and Israelis came together to help the victims.

The New York Times tells the story of Dr. Ali Shrouk, a Palestinian doctor who was driving to Jerusalem to take part in Ramadan prayers. He noticed his brother Mahmoud directing traffic around Mark’s overturned vehicle. They worked quickly to pull the wife and daughter from the car and treated them while waiting for a medic to arrive.

“I instantly stopped my car and rushed toward it to provide aid to the wounded. I didn’t care that my life, and the lives of my family members who were with me, could be at risk. I am a doctor and my first priority is providing needed aid,” Ali told the Maan News Agency.

The Associated Press tells the story of al-Bayed, another Palestinian who helped at the scene. Al-Bayed told the AP he and his wife were driving by when they spotted the overturned car with fuel spilling out.

“I heard kids' voices inside the car, screaming for help in Hebrew. It was heartbreaking...this was a very human moment. I didn't think of the occupation or the conflict. I thought only of human beings, children who needed my help," he said in an interview.

Despite language and cultural barriers, this group of people stood up to do what was right — they helped their fellow man in a time of need.

“It doesn’t matter if somebody is a settler, a Jew or an Arab,” Ali told the Times. He and his brother left only when they were certain the victims were being helped, putting themselves at risk.

Their kindness was not quickly forgotten. At Rabbi Mark’s funeral, his son asked mourners who called for revenge to leave. Comments on his daughter-in-law's Facebook page referred to Arabs as “murderous” and “scum of the earth.” “I think you should write terrorist, and not Arabs,” she responded, clarifying that Palestinians had been some of the first to help her family after the attack.

As he sat shiva for his uncle, Rabbi Menachem Kelmanson asked after Ali, saying, “Tell him thank you, thank you, from all my heart.”

Dr. Shroukh is not the only doctor who has risen above religious and political divides to treat the wounded. Last fall, a Jewish doctor and a Muslim doctor made news for their combined efforts to treat any patient that comes in — regardless of their religious or political beliefs.

When it comes to medicine and health, these doctors are showing up to save lives, because all lives are equal. The fact that these are news stories is a sign of how accustomed we’ve become to sectarian attacks — the attack itself isn’t news, but humans helping each other in a time of need is.

What can you do about it? You can choose to show up for your fellow Global Citizens.

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