Israeli Arab Paramedic Who Aided Victims of Hamas Attack Celebrated as a Hero

by Chloe Baker
Heroic Sacrifice

When Hamas launched an assault on a multitude of Jewish individuals gathered for a music event in southern Israel earlier this month, an Israeli Arab medical responder named Darawshe made the deliberate choice to remain at the location to administer life-saving aid.

Ultimately, this selfless act cost him his life.

Darawshe was not at the Tribe of Nova festival as an attendee, but as an employee for Yossi Ambulances. He was part of a team of medical responders stationed in a tent at the outskirts of the festival grounds.

His life was tragically cut short when militants from Hamas infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip, unleashing violence upon the festival-goers and expanding their rampage into adjacent villages, settlements, and kibbutzim.

Additional Context on Israel-Hamas Conflict

Gaza medical facilities issue dire warnings as supplies deplete and potential ground invasion looms
Palestinian death toll in Gaza surpasses figures from previous conflicts as Israel plans extended military operations
Israel’s collective trauma from the Holocaust resurfaces amidst Hamas atrocities

As the dawn of October 7 broke, the air was filled with the sound of rocket fire, explosions, and gunshots. Injured and bleeding, festival attendees rushed to the medical tent. However, the situation rapidly deteriorated. Recognizing the magnitude of the Hamas onslaught, the head of the medical team directed all paramedics to evacuate the area.

Defying orders, Darawshe chose to stay, believing that his Arab identity could potentially allow him to negotiate with the assailants. He was fatally shot while attending to one of the wounded.

After his identity was confirmed days later, surviving team members informed Darawshe’s family about his rationale for staying. “He said, ‘No, I’m not leaving. I speak Arabic, I think I can manage,'” recounted his cousin, Mohammad Darawshe, in a phone interview with The Big Big News from his residence in northern Israel.

The Darawshe family, while engulfed in grief, takes solace in the courageousness displayed by Darawshe. “He brought us immense sorrow, but also immense pride—for he remained committed to his mission until the very end,” said his cousin.

A memorial service took place on Friday in Iksal, a predominantly Arab village located roughly 3 miles southeast of Nazareth, attracting several thousand attendees. The Darawshe family, which has resided in Iksal for generations, belongs to Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority, comprising approximately 20% of the nation’s populace. These are descendants of Palestinians who remained in Israel post-1948 and are full citizens, albeit facing widespread societal discrimination. Ethnic tensions frequently rise, particularly during wartime.

The tragic festival incident resulted in at least 260 Israeli fatalities and an unknown number of hostages. In an egregious attack by Hamas that Saturday, the total death toll rose to over 1,300 Israelis, marking the deadliest event in the country’s history. Israel formally declared war on Hamas the subsequent day. As of the latest reports, the conflict has also claimed more than 2,300 Palestinian lives, teetering the Middle East on the edge of broader upheaval.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Darawshe’s death through social media posts, stating that Hamas had not only killed him but also commandeered his ambulance to Gaza. “A hero,” declared the Ministry, “May his memory be a blessing.”

Mohammad Darawshe, who serves as the Director of Strategy at the Givat Haviva Center for Shared Society, noted that Awad Darawshe’s actions embody the values that his family, and the center, aims to propagate—values of humanity and unity. “We are extremely proud of his deeds,” he said, “This is the standard of behavior we expect from every member of our family—to live, act, and if necessary, die as a humane individual.”

Reported by Sampson from Atlanta.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Heroic Sacrifice

What was the event where the Israeli Arab paramedic, Darawshe, lost his life?

Darawshe lost his life during a Hamas attack on a music festival called the Tribe of Nova in southern Israel. He chose to stay behind to provide medical assistance, despite orders to evacuate.

Who was Darawshe and what was his role at the event?

Darawshe was an Israeli Arab paramedic employed by Yossi Ambulances. He was part of a team of medical responders stationed in a tent at the outskirts of the Tribe of Nova festival grounds.

Why did Darawshe choose to stay despite orders to evacuate?

Darawshe believed that his ability to speak Arabic could potentially allow him to mediate with the assailants. He was shot while attending to an injured individual and subsequently died from his injuries.

What impact has Darawshe’s decision had on his family?

While his family is engulfed in grief over his loss, they also take solace and pride in Darawshe’s courageous actions. He remained committed to his mission of saving lives until the very end.

How has Israel reacted to Darawshe’s actions?

The Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed Darawshe’s death and called him “a hero,” stating that “May his memory be a blessing.” His actions have been widely celebrated as heroic.

What is the broader context of this event in relation to the Israel-Hamas conflict?

The attack by Hamas resulted in at least 260 Israeli fatalities at the festival and led to the deadliest event in Israel’s history with over 1,300 Israelis killed. It prompted Israel to formally declare war on Hamas and has escalated tensions in the Middle East.

Who is Mohammad Darawshe and what did he say about his cousin’s actions?

Mohammad Darawshe is the Director of Strategy at the Givat Haviva Center for Shared Society and a cousin of the deceased paramedic. He stated that the family is “extremely proud of his deeds,” and that his actions embody the values of humanity that the family upholds.

What is the status of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel?

The Palestinian Arab minority in Israel comprises about 20% of the country’s population. They are descendants of Palestinians who stayed in Israel after the 1948 war and are full citizens, though they face widespread societal discrimination.

More about Heroic Sacrifice

  • Israeli Foreign Ministry Statement on Darawshe
  • The Tribe of Nova Festival Attack: Full Report
  • Overview of the Israel-Hamas Conflict
  • Givat Haviva Center for Shared Society: Mission and Activities
  • Status of Palestinian Arab Minority in Israel: An Overview
  • The 1948 War and its Aftermath: Historical Context
  • Israel Declares War on Hamas: Official Announcement
  • Yossi Ambulances: Company Profile

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Ethan J. October 15, 2023 - 5:42 pm

Its a shame that ppl have to be heroes in situations like this in the first place. The world’s messed up but hats off to Darawshe.

Ali Q. October 16, 2023 - 6:31 am

Its heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. this guy embodied what humanity should be all about. My respects to his family.

Rachel T. October 16, 2023 - 10:05 am

The conflict is so complex, but acts like these show that individuals can make a difference. We need more people like Darawshe.

Mike D. October 16, 2023 - 11:31 am

Wow, what a story. Darawshe is a true hero, risked his life to save others. That’s something you don’t see every day.

Samantha R. October 16, 2023 - 11:42 am

i can’t even imagine being in such a situation. but to stay and help, knowing the risks? Darawshe, u were a light in dark times.


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