CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Moshe Perez, a high school social studies teacher is keeping track of the news back home in Israel. Now, he’s preparing to fight Hamas as part of the Israeli military.
Perez, 47, recently spoke to 7NEWS, saying his decision to leave his family and join the fight is a matter of principle.
“I’m a person of peace,” Perez said. “I’m not a person of conflict, though I have been to more than a few.”
Perez is a major in the Israeli reserve armed forces. Over the last couple of decades, he has fought both Hamas and the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah.
Asked if he is surprised by recent actions of Hamas, he responded.
“Yes,” he said. “I am surprised. I am shocked. I am horrified and I am very determined to go and give my part in order to stop it.”
Perez is beyond the age where people are called to fight. As a result, he was not called to duty with hundreds of thousands of other reservists. Still, he’s volunteering to serve.
“This time, I’m too old,” he said. “I’m off the list.”
Perez’s family is living in Cambridge because his wife is getting a degree at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Perez has three sons aged 10, 7 and a baby who is just one-year-old. His wife wants him to stay safe.
“I promised not to do silly things and I promised to take care and I want to keep this promise,” Perez said. “I do think that this help is needed and required. This is what I can do.”
Major Perez has many friends who have lost loved ones or who have people close to them missing in the aftermath of this weekend’s surprise attacks by Hamas
Perez is hoping to do less dangerous work, such as rescues. But he is adamant he needs to grab his rifle and help.
“Life is important and we have to go and save lives and eliminate those who threaten life constantly,” Perez said.
Perez said donations are helping soldiers living in the US catch flights back to Tel Aviv. His flight leaves on Tuesday.
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