Despite Decades of Enmity, Israel Quietly Aids Syrian Civilians – Isabel Kershner
After a rocket critically wounded an 8-year-old boy in Syria, his mother rushed the child to a local hospital, where medics told her: “If you want to save your son, you should take him to Israel.” A few days later, the boy and his mother arrived at Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya. Nearly 200 Syrians, about a third of them women and children, have been treated at this hospital since March 2013. More than 230 others have been taken to Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed.
A Syrian farmer whose grandchildren had been hurt in a rocket attack said he had heard about the Israeli medical care and, ignoring the political risks, worked to bring his granddaughter to Israel. “When there is peace, I will raise an Israeli flag on the roof of my house,” he said. (New York Times)
Last year, the IDF set up a field hospital to treat wounded Syrian civilians near Israel’s northern border. Col. Tariff Bader, a Druze medical officer who heads the Israeli field hospital, explains: “The ethical code of the IDF Medical Corps clearly states that soldiers must assist anyone who is sick or wounded – whether they are associated with the enemy or not.”
“When we realized we would be receiving many patients, we decided to build a field hospital so that we could treat people with serious injuries who require immediate care,” Col. Bader said, explaining that some of the victims were so badly injured that they would not have survived the trip to a civilian hospital. The Israeli facility includes surgery, orthopedics and radiology departments.
Despite the absence of cooperation between Israeli and Syrian medical services, some patients arrive with notes from Syrian doctors. (Israel Defense Forces Blog)
See also 700 Syrians Treated in Israeli Hospitals Since 2013 – Eli Ashkenazi
700 Syrian citizens, most of them injured in the civil war, have received medical treatment in Israel. At present, 490 Syrian nationals are inpatients at hospitals in northern Israel. (Ha’aretz)