Niv is a 20-year-old combat soldier serving in the Israel Defense Forces' Kfir Brigade, which is currently deployed in the West Bank. Its primary missions include counter-terror operations, apprehension of Palestinian terrorists, patrols, manning checkpoints, and regular security activities.
"Since this wave of terror began," says Niv, "the Brigade has spent a lot of time in Hebron apprehending suspects and preventing potential terrorist attacks."
On the evening of Sunday, October 11, Niv was waiting at a bus stop on Highway 65 near Kibbutz Gan Shmuel. Suddenly, a terrorist drove his car into Niv and a second soldier who was standing near him. "I wasn't the closest one to the highway," says Niv. "I was standing behind the other soldier. She took the brunt of the impact and was severely injured. I was bleeding from my head and I couldn't move my legs, but she was unconscious."
Once the terrorist got out of his car, he began stabbing other people at the site. "He stabbed a 14-year-old girl and a 45-year-old man. At that point I heard security forces approaching. The terrorist began running to the entrance of the kibbutz. He was immediately caught and arrested."
Niv was taken to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, where he was treated for his wounds and hospitalized for a week. Niv is still on crutches and is undergoing physiotherapy three times a week. "I'm going to be ok," Niv says. "The doctors believe it will take another two months, but they say I'll be able to return to my unit."
Niv's mother Yardena was home with Niv when a Fellowship representative delivered a $1,000 check to help with his medical expenses. "I want to tell you something that I'd like your donors to know,” Yardena says. "Every day I put some money into a charity box we have at home. On the day Niv was injured, I ran into a friend who had borrowed some money and wanted to return it. It was a small amount which I had completely forgotten about. I told her not to be silly and she should just keep it. My friend insisted that I take the money.
“When I returned home, I just put it into the charity box. It was at that moment that I remembered that I had forgotten to put any money into the box that day. A half hour after I put the money into the charity box, I received the phone call that Niv had been injured in a terrorist attack – but was ok. I'm sure it was the charity that saved his life. I believe with all my heart that when the rabbis say, 'Charity saves one from death,' it's the truth."
Niv says, "Our unit is serving under the most difficult conditions. We're cursed and spat at by the Palestinians, and we're not allowed to react. The press wants the world to believe that we're conquerors, that the IDF is cruel and vicious. The Fellowship's check is going to be very helpful, but the real gift is the fact that Rabbi Eckstein and the donors are telling us that we're not alone and they understand the importance of our work. Thank you for standing with us."