When a Visit to the Dentist Ends in Stabbing

Father and son seeking cheap dental care at a Palestinian dentist nearly pay for it with their lives

By Dov Eilon | | Topics: Terrorism
Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh / Flash90

Dental procedures are not cheap in Israel. As such, less than half of Israelis go to get regular check-ups. 

Recent years have seen new legislation providing free dental care to children, but most adults will still avoid the dentist’s chair in order to save money. Either that, or they look cheaper dental care outside the Israeli system. In other words, they go to Palestinian Arab dentists, who often charge a fraction of the price.

That’s what Yosef Peretz decided to do when his 17-year-old son, Liber, needed a dental procedure that was going to require numerous visits over the course of a year. 

On Saturday, Peretz and his son were again at the office of Dr. Amin in the Palestinian town of Azzun when a 15-year-old local Arab demanded to know if they were Jews. According to media reports, they initially responded in Arabic that they were not, though Yosef later acknowledged that he admitted to being Jewish, at which point the young terrorist pulled out a knife and began stabbing.

Yosef Peretz attempted to stop the teenage assailant, and was stabbed in the arm. The terrorist then began stabbing Liber Peretz in the back repeatedly. 

Both Israelis credited the dentist, Dr. Amin, with saving their lives by pushing back the terrorist and giving them a chance to escape.

Yosef Peretz suffered minor injuries, while his son was taken to hospital in serious condition. After treatment, his wounds were listed as moderate-but-stable.

Israeli security forces launched a manhunt for the young terrorist, who soon after turned himself in to Palestinian Authority police.

The harrowing incident will make Israelis think twice about seeking cheap dental care in Palestinian towns, which could ultimately cost them their lives.

Meanwhile, Dr. Amin is being hailed in the Israeli media as a hero and a beacon of the kind of co-existence needed for true peace. He, however, says he was just doing what any other doctor would–save human life, regardless of race. 

Of course, among fellow Palestinian Arabs, Dr. Amin is not being looked upon quite so kindly. He has been smeared on social media as the “savior of settlers,” and reportedly received death threats for the “crime” of protecting Israeli Jews from harm.

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox