It’s not the first time Fadi Dekaidek has responded in the aftermath of an Arab-perpetrated terror attack. Lifelong Jerusalemite Fadi Dekaidek was one of the first responders on the scene after an Arab assailant shot and killed multiple people outside a synagogue.
Israel21c Fadi Dekaidek was among the first emergency medical responders to the deadly terror attack by an Arab shooter outside a Jerusalem synagogue on the night of January 27.
“We saw a woman and four men lying on the street suffering from gunshots, without life signs. To our sorrow, we had to declare their death at the scene,” Dekaidek reported. “In addition, we treated five injured people, among them a 70-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man in critical condition.”
If anyone was surprised that this 38-year-old Magen David Adom paramedic is also an Arab Muslim, they’d be even more surprised to know that he was not the only Arab Israeli desperately trying to save lives at the gruesome scene. And it’s not the first time he’s responded in the aftermath of an Arab-perpetrated terror attack. Unfortunately, it’s happened before in his 20 years with Israel’s national Red Cross organization.
“I’m an Arabic guy in Magen David Adom and I save lives of Jewish people,” he tells ISRAEL21c. “Of course, a lot of my Jewish friends in Magen David Adom save lives of Arabic people.”
Dekaidek grew up in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, near his current home in Beit Hanina. These exclusively Arab communities are several kilometers southwest of Neve Ya’akov, the Jewish neighborhood where the shootings took place.
“I starting volunteering for Magen David Adom at 17 and then, after my father had a heart attack and I saw Jewish people save his life, I decided to continue,” explains the trilingual paramedic.
Dekaidek’s entire career has been with the emergency response organization. The crew he supervises draws from about 300 workers and volunteers, including 15 ambulance drivers and 115 teenage volunteers from Beit Hanina and other Arab communities in Jerusalem.
“There were lots of other Arab EMTs on the scene that night, a lot of from my [on-duty] team and others who came from their homes,” he says. “We have a lot of volunteers.” A United Hatazalah spokesperson said there were four Arab Muslim volunteers among more than 30 UH responders on the scene.