(JTA) – The Palestinian man who sheltered five American yeshiva students from firebomb attacks in Hebron said he has been receiving death threats.
Faiz Abu Hamdiah told Israel’s Channel 2 in an interview broadcast Sunday night that the threats have included arson and beheading. He said he keeps a machete by the door, the same one he was prepared to use to protect the students several days earlier.
He reiterated that he is not a hero and “this is what every person should have done.”
“I did it because I’m a human being. With all my heart, I’m a man of peace,” he said. “This is my worldview. Either you are human, or you don’t do it and then you aren’t human.”
Hamdiah took the students into his home on Sept. 3 after their car came under attack on the street in the Jabel Juhar neighborhood. Stones, rocks and firebombs were hurled at the car, which was consumed by flames. The students had made a wrong turn on their way to Hebron’s Cave of Patriarchs, which is under Israeli control.
Hamdiah gave the students water, assured them they were safe and called police to request their extraction. Troops arrived 40 minutes later in a hastily organized operation. Two of the students sustained minor injuries during the attacks.