On Wednesday, an Arab terrorist armed with two knives entered the Mor farm in the Hebron Hills intent on murdering Jews, and he would have succeeded had their pet dog not acted to protect them. As wonderful as this miracle is, there are tragic cases in which recent murders took place while concerned Jews waited for blessed protection from man’s best friend.
Shabtai Kushelevski was outside his house Wednesday afternoon when he saw an Arab approaching with a knife. He knew that his wife was inside, feeding their baby, but he had left his gun in the house. He ran inside, with the Arab chasing after him. The Arab stabbed him in the shoulder but Sofie, the family’s golden retriever mixed breed, instinctively jumped in, attacking the terrorist and giving Kushelevski time to get his gun.
Yekutiel Ben Yakov, Director of the Israel Dog Unit (IDU), a non-profit organization that helps place protection dogs throughout Judea and Samaria, explained that the natural bond between man and dog saving human life.
“This dog was not trained, but his natural instincts kicked in when he saw the Arab terrorist trying to stab Shabtai,” Ben Yakov told Breaking Israel News. “This extra few seconds saved the lives of everyone in the family. This is not uncommon, but there have been other attacks that ended tragically while Jews waited for the life-saving gift of guard dogs.”
Ben Yakov told Breaking Israel News about the case of Hallel Ariel, a 13-year old girl who was stabbed to death last June by a Palestinian as she lay sleeping in her home in Kiryat Arba, adjacent to Hebron.
“Her parents contacted us after the attack and told us that Hallel had been pleading with the to get a dog,” Ben Yakov said. “We are trying to place a dog there now. Several years ago, right in front of the Ariel house, one of our guard dogs caught an Arab infiltrator preparing to commit an attack.”
Genadi Kaufman had also contacted Ben Yakov about acquiring a guard dog, about six weeks before he was stabbed to death outside of the Cave of the Patriarchs. Genadi, the father of two, lived in Kiryat Arba, and worked as a gardener.
“He told me that he was worried because the Arabs would watch him work but he could see hatred in their eyes,” Ben Yakov said. “He started taking classes on how to handle a dog. He wanted to take it with him to work.”
In 17 years, the organization has placed over 300 dogs, with 65 active dogs right now. They also have a search-and-rescue division with 25 dogs that go on calls to find missing people.