JERUSALEM, Israel – In March of this year a wave of terror attacks swept through Israel when Palestinian terrorists killed 11 Israelis within days. The story of one victim—a Christian Arab policeman—spread throughout the country, bringing together both Jews and Christians.
They called Sergeant Amir Khoury, 32, the “hero of Israel.” He died while confronting a terrorist in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish town of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv.
Lieutenant Colonel Danny Hadad commands the Tel Aviv police district, and confirms that Khoury was a hero. “He was a warrior, you know. He was a first responder, but the best we get, we have,” Hadad said.
Hadad told CBN News how Khoury engaged the terrorist who was in the middle of a deadly shooting spree.
“He almost shoot other people. But when he saw the police officer, when he saw Amir, he turn around and shoot Amir. This [is] why other people [were saved],” Hadad explained. “In the moment that happened his friend that was with him killed the terrorist and this how they saved lives. Otherwise, if they were getting late, a few minutes more, the other people would have been killed. So, this is how he saved lives. And we are very proud of him.”
In a recent ceremony, the Christian Friends of Magen David Adom, Israel’s humanitarian medical assistance organization, donated a medicycle in Khoury’s memory.
The medicycle honors Khoury’s life and legacy found in the words of Jesus, who said, “Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.”.
Anne Ayalon, wife of former Israeli Ambassador to the US Danny Ayalon, told CBN News, “Through his giving his life for Orthodox Jewish people, the entire nation wept for him.”
She added, “Christian Friends of Magen David Adom is here to build bridges between Christians and Jews and a lot of it is to educate and to show that we are God’s children, all of us. And I felt it was an honor for me to meet this family and for us to donate a medicycle to another first responder.”
Thousands of Israelis came to Khoury’s funeral in March, including many ultra-Orthodox Jews.
“Amir died giving his life to protect Orthodox Jews in a very contested area in Bnei Brak in Israel”, Ayalon explained. “He actually brought together these Orthodox Jews who may be very suspicious of Christians. He brought them to understand that there is love for the Orthodox Jew.”
For the Khoury family, the anguish of losing their brother, son and fiancee still leaves a void in their hearts.
Michael Khoury, Amir’s brother said, “It’s very hard, what’s happened with me, for my family. My brother is dead and what’s happened with my sisters, with me, with all the life for my family.”
His sister, Vivian Bolous, told us Amir was an example to everyone. “He really did unite people! And even with all the pain and hardship that is with us every day, we don’t forget this unity,” she said.
The loss left Amir’s fiacee, Shani Yashar, with a broken heart. “Wow. So much, so much. My life is broken. Amir is my life," Shani said.
Still, his legacy in Israel lives on.
“They saw him as a hero,” said Commander Hadad. “Everyone in Israel knows who is Amir Khoury. They know this name because they know what he done. All the people in Bnei Brak and in the area are very grateful to him and all the police officers, the other police officers want to be the example of Amir Khoury, want to be like him. You know, be like Mike. Be like Amir.”