Nir Nachshon, the moving company employee who was extricated from a lynch after mistakenly entering the east Jerusalem village of Issawiya Sunday night, is still trying to digest the harrowing experience.
Speaking to Ynet from his hospital bed he said that "they started throwing rocks and cement blocks right into the car. I realized I was going to die and I started thinking this isn't the way I want to die."
Nachshon, 28, was on his way home to Ma'aleh Adumim from the Mount Scopus Medical Center but a GPS device mistake meant that he ended up in the Palestinian village. He was evacuated to the Ein Kerem Medical Center after sustaining light head injuries.
The realization that he was in hostile territory, he said, came "just as I made the turn, I figured out that I made a mistake, but I didn't realize how big the issue was. This is Jerusalem. This is home."
"Immediately when I made the turn a 12-year-old boy started screaming 'Jew, Jew'. Each time he called out dozens more people arrived." That is when they started throwing rocks and cement blocks into the car.
Nachshon recalled how during the lynch he searched among his assailants for "children or young people, I tried to look them in the eyes and find an ounce of humanity in them but all I could see was murder in heir eyes. I felt my life would be over at any minute."
Nir then described how his life was saved: "Someone came out of nowhere and tried to rescue me from the people; there was screaming but he managed to get me to his house. I was still scared, I didn't feel safe, and the people in the house said they needed to get me out of the village or they would also come under attack.
"I was scared to go out but three of the young guys inside the house said they were with me and would protect me no matter what." The rescuers were one of the village's muhtar's and his sons. "I owe these people my life," Nachshon added "I hope I'll get to meet them again soon and thank them in person."
Nachshon's saviors took him outside to a police patrol car waiting outside the village. Meanwhile Border Guard forces were rushed to the scene as well as Magen David Adom units, which took the victim to the hospital. Police forces canvassed the area but no detainees have been reported.
In addition to the physical trauma Nachshon received from being beaten by clubs, rocks and wooden planks, he has to contend with the emotional trauma. "I'm still trying to digest everything that happened, all I know is that this was a miracle, I got my life back and first and foremost, I thank God for the gift."
Shortly after being released from the hospital, Nachshon received a visit from the village Muchtar, Darwish Darwish.
"I condemn this act, I ask for your forgiveness and invite you to return to the village," said Darwish. "I am sure that if we weren’t there, someone else would have come to your rescue," he said.
Nachshon and his saviors (Photo: Atta Awisat)
Darwish wished Nachshon a quick recovery and expressed hope that "he won't keep a grudge," noting that "extremists are everywhere."
The muchtar told Nachshon that "two months ago an Arab man was attacked by Jews in Jerusalem. I hope you will save the lives of Arabs just like we saved yours."
Nachshon thanked Darwish and said, "I am staying out of politics, but I know I owe you my life. I don’t know what would have happened if you weren’t there."
At the end of the meeting, Darwish reiterated his disapproval of the event, but stressed that "our village is neglected and our residents don’t receive their basic rights. Our kids walk around in the streets and are only used to experiencing raids," he said.