A Muslim doctor was held hostage and shot multiple times by the Hamas terrorists who infiltrated southern Israel, killing and injuring thousands and seizing many hostages.
Dr. Tarek Abu Arar is a volunteer physician with United Hatzalah, a national organization that has Muslims and Jewish people working together to respond to emergency medical calls.
According to a Wednesday post on United Hatzalah’s website, Arar was driving to his shift in the emergency room at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon on Saturday when he came across someone who appeared injured at a junction near Sderot.
The individual was on the side of the road next to a 4×4 vehicle, and, assuming there had been a car accident, Arar stopped to help. As the Muslim doctor approached the vehicle, he saw what looked like an Israeli soldier in uniform.
At the time, there were no reports about Hamas breaching the border fence and invading Israel, according to Arar. Twenty minutes earlier, a Red Alert siren had warned Arar about rocket fire, so he happened to be wearing a bulletproof vest when he was shot in the chest.
“I started shouting and praying, convinced that I was about to die,” he remembered thinking, right before he heard someone shout in Arabic, ‘Stop, stop, he is an Arab!”
“This is when I understood they were Hamas terrorists,” Arar said.
Ten men dressed in military attire that Arar described as looking similar to IDF uniforms came out of the bushes and started interrogating the doctor in Arabic. The men asked Arar questions about Islam, testing his knowledge before tying him to a pole at the center of the junction.
“‘That’s it, we have a hostage; the IDF cannot eliminate us from the air anymore,'” Arar remembers the men shouting.
For about two hours, the terrorists shot at every car that passed the junction, taking care to kill every occupant. Once the army arrived at the scene, the opposing sides engaged in a shootout, with Arar in the middle.
“Then one of the terrorists shot me in the leg from point blank and signaled with his hand that the next bullet would be in my head,” the volunteer physician said. “I started bleeding pretty massively.”
“During this whole time, I was praying for a miracle,” he recalled. “I was convinced that I was about to die.”
After the IDF forces retreated, a Yamam commando force — Israel’s counter-terrorism unit — arrived at the scene 45 minutes later and eliminated all the terrorists. Arar said that members of the command force tied a tourniquet on his injured leg before an ambulance took him to a hospital, where he was treated and released a few hours later.
“This was the worst experience of my life. I have dedicated my life to helping others and saving lives, both in my profession as a doctor and my volunteering with United Hatzalah,” the doctor said.
“To be forced to witness the horrible slaughter carried out in front of my eyes was terrible,” he said. “I have no words to describe it. Just terrible.”
Arar has been a volunteer with the organization for over a year, and he is one of four volunteers injured following Hamas’ attack Saturday that resulted in the deaths of over 1,300 people, according to United Hatzalah’s post.
Another one of the organization’s volunteers was providing medical care to people at the Nova Festival, held in celebration of the Jewish holiday Sukkot, when Hamas terrorists kidnapped him. Militants fired at attendees and abducted others, and at least 260 bodies have been recovered from the festival site.
“An additional volunteer, Maor Shalom, was killed while trying to save lives after he was called up to duty as part of Israel’s security forces,” United Hatzalah wrote Wednesday.
Israel 365, an organization that seeks to connect Christians with the land and people of Israel, is urging the world to pray for what it says are nearly 200 hostages — ranging in age from 3 months old to 85 years — taken by Hamas.
The nonprofit is distributing fliers featuring photos and names of some of the hostages and individuals missing in hopes people will share them on social media to raise awareness.
In an interview with Christian Post reporter Jeannie Ortega Law on Friday, Naphtali “Tuly” Weisz, director of Israel365, implored Christians in the U.S. not to waiver in their support for Israel’s fight to defeat Hamas and to speak out for the hostages taken into Gaza.
“I wanted to say that the cruelty exhibited by Hamas supersedes the cruelty of ISIS with all of its horrors,” Weisz said. “It’s a warning to the world. Every citizen of the free world needs to be aware that if the radical Islamic terrorism funded and facilitated by Iran is not stopped and is tolerated, all of our children could be next.”
Weisz called on Christians to “urge their elected officials to completely renounce Hamas and demand the immediate release of all Israeli hostages to their families.”
“Israel is going to be in this war for the long haul, and we need our Christian allies to hang in there with us and have our back while Israel does what it needs to do to destroy its evil enemy,” Weisz stated. “And now is the time to activate and mobilize on behalf of Israel and the hostages by printing out these fliers and holding them up at churches and at rallies to show your solidarity with Israel’s hostages.”
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