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Muslim homeless man hailed a hero after rescuing Israeli woman

‘I am not a hero,’ the man told Italian television adding: ‘God wants us to help everybody’

Published: Updated:

A homeless Muslim man rescued an Israeli woman, who reportedly attempted to commit suicide after jumping into a river in Rome, prompting authorities to grant the man, also an illegal immigrant, a permit to stay and work in Italy, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported Saturday.

The woman was taken to a hospital and is in good condition after 32-year-old Bangladeshi Sobuj Khalifa jumped into the Tiber, which is known for being severely polluted, the Israeli daily reported.

“I am not a hero,” he told Italian television TV2000. “God wants us to help everybody.”

“I saw her fall from the bridge, I thought she was dead,” Khalifa is heard saying in a video shot by passerby which showed the rescue.

“But (when I reached her) I saw her eyes moving, I thought she could be still alive.”

Consequently, Authorities granted Khalifa, who had been living in Italy eight years and homeless for the past four years, a permit to stay and work in the EU country.

The Italian city’s Mayor Ignazio Marino wrote on his Facebook page that he has spoken to Khalifa, thanking him for his “heroic and humane” act.

Separately, the city’s Jewish community is working to find Khalifa a home and a job.

Riccardo Pacifici, the head of Rome’s Jewish Community, told Haaretz that the city’s Jews want to thank Khalifa for his bravery.