An Israeli man seriously wounded in a terror attack more than two years ago is appealing for donations to cover his medical expenses, claiming that the wounds he sustained at his place of work in Yavne left him dependent on meager state support.
Niv suffered serious life-threatening injuries when he was repeatedly stabbed at his place of work in an attack by a terrorist from the West Bank who was actually seeking a different victim.
Ismail Abu Aram illegally entered Israel on August 2, 2017, intending to kill his Israeli former boss, but when he was nowhere to be found, he decided to kill anyone else he could find.
Abu Aram entered the local supermarket where Niv was employed as assistant manager, produced a long knife and stabbed him 15 times in the neck, head, chest and abdomen.
Niv managed to fend off the attacker, who fled out of the store where he was captured by passers-by who wrestled him to the ground.
In June of last year, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for attempted murder.
Adopting the slogan "Leave no heroes behind," the Nehemiah family turned to crowdfunding to try to raise NIS 1 million for Niv and his children's medical and psychological treatments.
After a long recovery and rehabilitation period, Niv remains in constant pain and is unable to provide for his family, including his five children who were severely traumatized.
"I get no financial assistance beyond the social security stipend which is very low," says Niv.
"I have had to reduce my working hours," says Sigal, Niv's wife.
She says that since the money provided by the government through the social security services is minimal, the family is now in debt while the need for treatment continues.
In fact, she says, more surgery may be required in the coming months.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Niv after the attack and lauded him as a hero.
"I applaud him in the name of all the people of Israel. One thing is for sure … The real answer lies in our courage and our willingness to fight against these murderers and those who dispatch them. That willingness and courage has been shown here today by Niv in a magnificent way.” Netanyahu said.
"I am not a hero," Niv says, "though I suppose I saved my own life and others as well that day and would do it again."
"However," he says, "I am not asking for any special treatment, just for the government to recognize that when you are hurt, after always paying your taxes, you are not given too little and left to fend for yourself."
First published: 12:25 , 11.25.19