Amir was in a Palestinian prison because he was accused of giving information to Israel concerning attacks on the Jewish people. That information saved the lives of Israelis, but in the eyes of the Palestinian Authority (PA) it was a betrayal.
Men and women who give information to Israel are considered traitors to the Palestinian people. When caught, these so-called “collaborators” are arrested, tortured and many times killed. He was set free by Israeli troops and given permission to reside in Israel proper.
I met Amir after a long day of visits to other so-called collaborators. My translator and friend, Mahmoud insisted on meeting one more this night so I agreed. After knocking at Amir’s door for several minutes a very thin and frail looking man greeted us. With a sleepy smile he graciously invited us inside for Arabic coffee.
His home consisted of one room with a couple pieces of furniture, but he seemed very content with what he had. He said that periodically his wife and children would sneak out of the West Bank and stay with him for days at a time. He was proud to have a minimum wage job so that he could feed his family though the work was only part-time. Amir said that he couldn’t return to his home and family in the West Bank, in fear of being killed or rearrested by the PA.
He spoke about his experience in the PA prison while Machmoud translated. Amir was tortured in various ways; for many days he was stripped and tied to a tree during the winter. They would release him periodically and pour cold water on his body, then tie him outside again. Once they took him inside and placed a heater so close to him that he still bears the scars that he showed us. Afterwards they made him sit on the heater naked.
I asked Amir how he made it through each day. He said, “I prayed and I knew God would save me.” He said God became his best friend. I asked who God is to him, and he said “The one who lives in my heart and teaches me to love not just my friends, but also my enemies”. I told him that he was talking as though he read the Christian Bible. He smiled and grabbed a Bible from the counter and said “I found it in this book that Machmoud gave me”. He said, “Everything I believe in my heart is written in here”. He was very awake by this time and excited as he opened the pages to show us all the notes he had written.
Amir may not have said “The prayer” yet, or had been baptized, but we were excited to see that he already had a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!
A short while after this night we took him to the Jordan River where he requested to be baptized “Like Jesus”. He is a Believer, a brother struggling to survive without his family away from his home, but is thankful for his new life in Israel and in the Lord Jesus Christ.