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Photo: Reuters
Miki Mark's funeral.
Photo: Reuters
Terror victim's family opposes calls for revenge
Family members of Miki Mark, who was murdered in a terror attack on Friday, opposed calls for avenging his death. Mark's daughter-in-law Yiska emphasized on social media the fact that the first people to assist the victims after the attack were a Palestinian couple.
Miki Mark and his wife Chava supported the Ben Ami family for 16 years. Its patriarch, Eliyahu, was killed in a terror attack. Miki and Chava's son Shlomi even eventually married Eliyahu's daughter, Yiska. On Friday, he lost his father in a nearly-identical way to how Yiska lost her father years ago. In addition, Chava's nephew, Yonadav Hirschfeld, was killed eight years ago in a terror attack at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem.

 

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Despite their loss, the Mark family's humanity has remained intact. When one of Yiska Mark's Facebook friends wrote to console her for her father-in-law's murder with the words: "murderous, scum-of-the-earth Arabs," she emphasized the fact that the first people on the scene of the accident, who gave the Mark family first aid and whose cell phone was used to call authorities to the scene of the attack, were Palestinian Arabs.

 

"I really have to tell you that the first to arrive at the scene was a Palestinian vehicle with an Arab couple who exited and took care of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. They gave them a cell phone to call (the authorities), and stayed with them in those difficult moments," she wrote. "I think you should write terrorists and not Arabs because not every Arab is a terrorist, and I say this from experience."

 

Miki Mark's funeral, Sunday. (Photo: AFP)
Miki Mark's funeral, Sunday. (Photo: AFP)

 

This was  not the only time when thr Mark family demonstrated their disapproval for revenge. During Miki Mark's funeral, when several youths began yelling "revenge" during the procession, Shlomi Mark called on them to stop and leave. They were also silenced by the crowd. When they continued, one of the people present urged them to "respect the family."

 

A short distance separates the areas where Miki Mark and Eliyahu Ben Ami were killed. Mor Leibovich, Eliyahu Ben Ami's daughter and Yiska Mark's sister, wrote on social media of the experience of learning about the attack. "Her voice was trembling," she said as she recalled the phone call with Yiska. "I was sure she was calling to tell me that we had forgotten something at their place. 'There was a terrorist attack near Otniel. (Chava) and Miki are seriously wounded. They say there's a man who was killed, and we're worried it's Miki.' My legs freeze and my breath shortens. No, no, no, God. Please no. Not again. Not Miki and (Chava). They're the parents of Shlomi, my brother-in-law, my sister's father-in-law and mother-in-law. Wonderful and amazing people whom I have known since childhood, in Otniel, the town where I grew up, all one big family. 'Please don’t let it be Miki, Please don’t let it be Miki, Please don’t let it be Miki.' I cry silently. Later, the bitter truth was revealed to me. Miki is gone."

 

Leibovich later added, "Miki, the man who supported (my) mother and us so much since my father was killed. Miki, who hosted us just last Shavuot. His voice stil rings in my ears. Miki, who always greeted us with a smile on his face, with giggles and humor, the man with that huge heart."

 

Chava Mark is still hospitalized in the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem. The hospital stated Sunday that she has regained consciousness. She is also reportedly breathing independently and is in stable condition. Hadassah Ein Kerem Shock Trauma Unit director Prof. Avi Ribkind said that Mark has woken up, but is still not speaking. She does, however, respond when her name is called.

 

Yiska and Shlomi Mark. "not every Arab is a terrorist, and I say this from experience." (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Yiska and Shlomi Mark. "not every Arab is a terrorist, and I say this from experience." (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

 

Chava Mark has, sadly, experienced grief of this king before. Her nephew Yonadav Hirschfeld was killed in the 2008 terrorist attack at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem. "On Friday, when I heard of the attack, I sent Miki a 'how are you?' message and he didn't answer," said Tzemach Hirschfeld, Yonadav's father. "I was feeling unwell up to the point that my wife's brother called and said that their car had been hit. I had to tell my wife's mother that her son-in-law had been killed. We went into the Sabbath when (Chava), my wife's sister, was still in the operating room, and the we didn't know her condition for the entire Sabbath."

 

Of his feelings in the attack's aftermath, Hirschfeld said, "There are two levels. On the personal level, it's very hard. The first thought is 'Oh no, not again.' On the national level – we aren't doing what we need to do. We have enemies – it starts with incitement, stones, bottles, and firearms."

 

 

 

 

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