“We call on the Israeli government to repeatedly attack every army base in Syria in order to help us remove Hezbollah militants from the country, who love to murder Syrians and destroy the country,” said one of Syria’s wounded who was being treated in an Israeli hospital.
“When you see small kids like this, and you hear their story, you cry too,” said Dr. Shoukri Kassis, who treats Syria’s wounded at Ziv Medical Center in Safed. Half of the available beds in his ICU unit are being used for Syria’s wounded. Over 200 serious medical cases have been allowed into Israel for treatment.
“This is a very cruel war,” said Dr. Oscar Embon, head of the medical center in Israel’s north. “It is, however, a source of satisfaction and pride that we can realize the values of our profession to cross borders, be humanistic, treat those in need and help others.”
Syria’s wounded are ‘simple citizens’
When Syrian patients first started coming to Israel, they tended to be ”rebels who were involved in the war,” Embon explained. ”But now it’s simple citizens. There are shellings of innocent civilians and a share of them seek care in Israel.”
The age of the wounded seems to get progressively younger.
“At first it was young men in their 20s and 30s. Now they’re younger, teenagers and sometimes even kids,” noted Dr. Amram Hadari, head of the hospital’s trauma unit.
Each wounded Syrian is guarded from being photographed or having his or her personal information passed on to Syria.
“If it gets out that you were in Israel,” one of the patients said, “that’s the end for you.”
The Syrian war has resulted in 130,000 dead since March 2011.
Druze Officer Heads IDF Field Hospital Treating Syria’s Wounded
Col. Tariff Bader, a Druze officer, heads the IDF field hospital on the Syrian border, which has treated more than 700 among Syria’s wounded.
“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,” he explained.
“There has not been a single case in which an injured Syrian was denied medical treatment by the IDF or by a civilian hospital.”
The facility includes surgery, orthopedics and radiology divisions. On a regular basis nurses and orderlies lend a hand to IDF doctors. Cases that call for serious operations are moved to hospitals nearby.
A number of patients have arrived with notes from Syrian doctors describing recommended care.
Some of Syria’s wounded were unconscious when they got here and were shocked to find themselves in the Jewish state.
“During the first month or so, they were a little hesitant to come to Israel. Today that is no longer the case.” Bader affirmed.
“They taught us about the Zionist enemy, the Zionist oppressor. But when we saw the Zionists, [we realized] they were nothing like what we’d been told. They’re human beings just like us, human, and even more than that,” said Latif, a patient.
To ease the psychological trauma faced by children, medical clowns regularly visit the hospital, which treats about 100 Syrians monthly.
Author: David Fink, contributor, United with Israel
Date: Mar. 25, 2014