Responding to need for humanitarian aid, Israeli medical teams treat wounded Syrians both in the field and in Israeli hospitals.
This past Shabbat, a 3-year-old girl wounded by shrapnel in the Syrian civil war was brought to Israel for medical treatment with her mother. At press time, they are still receiving treatment at Tzfat’s Ziv Medical Center.
This little girl is not the only Syrian child to receive medical care in Israel in recent days. Another 15-year-old arrived with an amputated leg and stomach wounds and an 8-year-old, along with her mother, was also treated for fractures from shrapnel at the Ziv Center, spokespeople said.
After a bomb struck their home, the 8-year-old girl and her mother were taken to the Israeli field hospital before being brought to Israel for medical treatment. Israel keeps the identities of Syrians receiving medical treatment in Israel a closely held secret so patients won’t face attacks when they return to Syria. The Ziv Center has already treated more than 45 Syrians amid recent chaos, out of a total of more than 100 Syrian civilians treated in Israel hospitals in recent months.
In addition to treating the Syrian wounded in Israeli hospitals, Syrian civilians also receive medical care in an IDF field hospital along the Israeli-Syrian border. “Our policy is to help in humanitarian cases, and to that end we are operating a field hospital along the Syrian border,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. “In cases where there are badly wounded, we transfer them to Israeli hospitals.”
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN SYRIA
According to UN statistics, at least 93,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, with some 7,000 of these fatalities being children under the age of 15. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, says the numbers are higher, claiming that over 120,000 people have been killed in Syria. “We believe the real figure of those killed from both sides is above 120,000 because both sides are being discreet on their casualties,” says Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
About half of the 1.7 million Syrian refugees are children, while an additional 3 million children still in Syria remain in desperate need of humanitarian aid. Observers report that the children are traumatized, having witnessed massacres, homes burned to the ground, torture, and rape. One refugee woman reported that her teenage daughter was so distressed by what she witnessed that she burned herself, believing that if she turned black, then maybe she could avoid rape.
By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United With Israel