A Syrian opposition leader praised Israeli medical teams at Ziv Medical Center for treating wounded Syrians. He hopes this serves as a bridge between the two nations.


IDF field hospital treats Syrians who fled to Israel. (Photo: IDF)

Dr. Kamal Al-Labwani, a prominent member of the Syrian opposition, currently in exile in Turkey, visited Syrian casualties hospitalized in the Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat.

Al-Labwani, who has been nicknamed “the Syrian Nelson Mandela,” praised the Israeli medical team at Ziv for the humanitarian treatment they give to casualties of the Syrian civil war and thanked them for their dedicated care.

Ziv Hospital has treated more than 360 patients from Syria since February 2013. The IDF also established a field hospital on the Syrian border to treat Syrian casualties.

Moti Kahana, an Israeli-American businessman, took part in the visit. Kahana has been involved in humanitarian activities on behalf of victims of the civil war in Syria and in the efforts to assist the few Jews still in Syria to flee the country.

Who is the Real Enemy?

“I am filled with appreciation for the devoted medical care that the Ziv Medical Center is providing for the Syrian casualties, people from my nation, who have been injured in the war. This is a touching humanitarian gesture and an opportunity to bridge between the nations, and a hope for peace in more quiet times” said Al-Labwani to Ziv’s deputy director, Dr. Calin Shapira, who accompanied the visit.

“I came to the Ziv Medical Center to thank the hospital for treating hundreds of men, women and children who have received the highest quality treatment, and emotional support following the difficult events they have experienced during the war in Syria. This treatment is not only for the wounded children and women, it is for the entire Syrian people. This is how we feel, and everyone knows this and is talking about it. Israel treats Syrian casualties, saving their lives, while Assad continues to massacre his own people. In Syria, Assad claims that the Israelis are the enemies, and here at the hospital we see who the real Israel is. I ask: Who is really the enemy?”

Fleeing Assad’s Persecution

Al-Labwani is a leading human rights voice and a prominent member of the Syrian opposition movement. He has previously been detained by the Assad regime for his political actions and was imprisoned for his activism for democratic reforms in Syria.

After his release from prison in late 2011, Al-Labwani fled to Jordan, fearing assassination or re-arrest, where he applied for and was granted political asylum in Sweden. Since then, Al-Labwani has worked for the Syrian cause mostly from Turkey.

Al-Labwani is scheduled to meet leading Israeli government officials.

Author: Aryeh Savir,
Staff Writer, United with Israel