An Israeli Arab woman from Jerusalem received a long-awaited kidney transplant last week following the death of a Jewish man who was killed during recent riots in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod.
58-year-old Jerusalem resident Randa Aweis, a mother of five, received 56-year-old Yigal Yehoshua's kidney in an operation performed at Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Hospital, after waiting for seven years on the transplant list and battling a kidney disease for nearly a decade.
“He was a man of charity,” Yehoshua’s brother Efi told Fox News. “Just because he had such a big heart, we said we will donate his organs. We have been honored to do so. They will live because of him."
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"The poor man, what did he do,” CNN reported Aweis asking. “What did he do to them? Why did they kill him? What is his wife going to do with his kids?"
Recalling her childhood in a mixed neighborhood in Jerusalem, she said that she “grew up with the Jews. Our kids grew up with Jews.”
"There was no racism. Not from the Jews, not from the Arabs,” she said. “I will tell Yigal's family thank you. Yigal is going to heaven where it is better than here."
Yehoshua, a Lod resident, died last Monday, just under a week after his car was pelted by stones during riots sparked by the death of Moussa Hassouna, an Israeli Arab who was shot during clashes between Arabs and Jews on May 11.
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Lod has been severely affected by the recent wave of violence in mixed Jewish cities in Israel. Days after the riots began, Israel has declared a state of emergency in the city and enacted a nighttime curfew.
After Yehoshua was attacked, young Israeli Arabs in Lod told Haaretz that "This is the blood vengeance they were looking for in exchange for the death of Hassouna."
Four Lod residents were arrested on suspicion of causing Hassouna's death, but all were released, with the suspicion against lowered from murder to reckless manslaughter. Another possibility being investigated was that he was shot by residents after Arab rioters threw stones at Jewish homes, tore down traffic signs and set objects on fire.
Two synagogues were burned down and four were damaged by fire or stone throwing during the clashes, which President Reuven Rivlin compared to a “pogrom.” A mosque was also pelted with stones and a cemetery was vandalized.
Meanwhile, organs belonging to 17-year old Mohammed Kiwan, a resident of Umm al-Fahm who was killed last week, were donated to six separate people, including five Jews.
"Every human being has his dignity. We respect all people. Both Arabs and Jews,” Kiwan’s father Mahmoud told Walla news website.
Kiwan’s mother was grieving but also “rejoicing that his organs saved the lives of six people,” his uncle told the news website. “She is even glad that five of them are Jews. That already says it all. We are a family that believes in coexistence and we wanted to save lives regardless of religion, race and gender.”
Kiwan was brought to Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa last week with bullet wounds to the head. About an hour beforehand, police had been dispatched to the Umm al-Fahm area after reports of Arab youths trying to attack Jews traveling on a main nearby road. At some stage, police opened fire at a vehicle that had run over an officer. The vehicle left the area and has not been found, but police are investigating whether Kiwan was in it at the time of the incident and was hit in the shooting.
On Wednesday, police investigators gathered evidence from Kiwan’s father. His family said that the youth were in a car with friends when police opened fire at them.