(Edi Israel/Flash90) (Edi Israel/Flash90)
MDA medic

Here us yet another story of Israelis extending medical relief and humanitarian care to Palestinians in need. 

Israeli medics Danny Gur and Avishai Landau, first responders with the United Hatzalah emergency service, responded on Monday to a traffic accident that occurred at al-Aroub intersection, which is located near Gush Etzion. Gur lives in the nearby town of Alon Shvut and had already responded to a man with a respiratory problem earlier in the day.

“We arrived at the scene and saw that two vehicles had been in an accident. One driver, a Palestinian man, had suffered moderate head wounds and a broken leg. We stopped the bleeding and treated him on the scene before passing to the Red Crescent ambulance service, which transported him to the nearest hospital.”

Gur said that the interaction between the Israeli medics who live in Gush Etzion and the Red Crescent went smoothly and that cooperative medical situations such as these happen all the time. “We work with them pretty much every day. We both respond to emergencies, and we hand off the Palestinian patients to the Red Crescent after we provide initial treatment at the scene. It’s a more than a daily occurrence here throughout Gush Etzion.”

Gur and Landau are two of the 22 United Hatzalah volunteers deployed throughout Gush Etzion who provide emergency medical response to people who live in their community as well as the surrounding area.

While communication between the Red Crescent and United Hatzalah medics is not always easy due to language barriers, both organizations work together to save the lives of those injured.

“During the incident today, we had a tough time conversing with the Red Crescent as the majority of the medics who responded to this incident only spoke Arabic, and my Arabic isn’t great. But there was a medic who spoke English and so we were able to work it out.” Gur, who originally hails from Canada, has a strong command of English as do many of the United Hatzalah medics in Gush Etzion. “The important thing is that we were able to help treat the patient, regardless of who he is, or where he is from,” concluded Gur.

Long Track Record of Treating Palestinian Patients

This incident is by no means a unique instance of Israelis providing Palestinians with medical treatment. Israeli hospitals and medical teams have a long track record of treating Palestinian patients, in many cases free of charge.

IDF medical teams and Israeli civilian emergency units from communities in Judea and Samaria regularly treat local Arabs, often after car accidents, for a broad array of ailments and injuries. Walking to an IDF checkpoint or to the front gate of an Israeli community for medical treatment is common practice among Arabs living in the Palestinian Authority (PA)-administered territories. In some months, Israeli medics treat more Palestinians than Israelis.

Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa provides medical care to hundreds of patients from Gaza and the PA-administered territories year round; 650 children and teenagers were treated there throughout 2013, for instance.

A report published by Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) shows that 219,464 Palestinian patients received medical treatment in Israeli hospitals during 2012, including 21,270 children.

The IDF has even established a specially designated IDF reserves company that focuses entirely on providing medical care and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian population.

Capt. (Res.) Dr. Yishai Lev, a commander in the company, stresses that when people are wounded, attention is not placed on whether or not the person is Israeli, but on the importance of people’s common humanity. “This medical care stems from our commitment to the Jewish and modern value of human rights,” he said.

By: United with Israel Staff

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