Last week when much of Israel was being inundated thanks to an unusually strong winter storm, many people had to be rescued from cars that had become stuck in floodwaters. But one such rescue is worth highlighting.
The floodwaters took out many small back roads in Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank"), and one Palestinian Arab family became trapped in their vehicles when a typically-dry stream rapidly overflowed its banks one evening.
The Israeli army coordinator for the area called in Capt. Adiya Hazani, who is responsible for the area covering Jenin and Tulkarm. Hazani and his troops rushed to the scene to find roughly 200-300 onlookers and at least half a dozen victims trapped in three cars.
Hazani told the IDF Spokesperson that the situation was dire, but with the help of a local farmer and his tractor, the captain was able to reach each vehicle and safely carry those trapped to safety.
Asked about taking part in the rescue of those typically seen as Israel's enemies, Capt. Hazani said:
"Our role in the region is not easy. Believe me when I say that I understand we are in a complicated situation with the Palestinians. But at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. The commander of our regional brigade has repeatedly emphasized to those under his command that helping the Palestinian civilian population is a vital part of our role as IDF soldiers in the area."
What is frustrating is that Capt. Hazani's behavior and outlook are typical of Israeli officers and soldiers, but such behavior is rarely covered by the mainstream international press.
Instead, the media prefers to focus on unfounded allegations by Israel's antagonists or on the handful of incidents where Israeli soldiers are indeed caught behaving badly in order to paint a very negative overall image of the Jewish state.
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