Despite the hundreds of rockets pouring into Israel since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, Israeli hospitals continue to provide world class medical care to patients from Gaza. The dedicated doctors treat each and every patient, no matter their religion or national origin.
Sheba Hospital spokesman, Amir Marom, told the Jerusalem Post about one patient from Gaza the hospital is currently treating.
“Just two days ago, a nine year- old girl from Gaza who was hurt in her palm was brought to Sheba. Her father is an Arab journalist who writes from Gaza for an Israeli newspaper. She was accompanied by her mother. An Israeli boy who was wounded by a Gazan rocket that fell in Kiryat Malachi last week is in the same room with a Gazan girl whose fingers were amputated due to injury. We regard our hospital as a bridge to peace.”
Many patients from Gaza come to Israel to receive treatment that is not available in Hamas ruled Gaza, where the huge influx of foreign aid goes into the hands of terrorists instead of the people. Quite frequently, frightened patients are accompanied by several family members to help keep the patient calm. The Israeli hospitals arrange accommodations for family members even though there is a security risk. Rambam Hospital director-general Prof. Rafael Beyar discussed the situation.
“We at Rambam Medical Center are taking care of sick children and adults, and we are not looking at their religion or where they come from. At the moment, we have four – a baby girl in the nephrology department, two children in oncology and an adult in urology.
“Family members accompanied them. It’s absurd that we are doing this at the same time Israelis are being attacked, but there is no other way. We are used to it. We are very far from politics.”
The devotion of Israel’s doctors to treating any patient has not always been paid back in kind. Take the case of Wafa Samir al-Biss, the Palestinian woman treated for severe burns in an Israeli hospital. The 21 year old woman was caught at one of the checkpoints that anti-Israeli peace activists claim are only to enforce racial apartheid against the Palestinians. She was carrying 22 pounds of explosives sewn into a belt inside her underwear.
al-Biss was planning to tale advantage of a scheduled follow-up visit to the hospital that treated her to enact her own sick vengeance on the Jewish people.
“My dream was to be a martyr. I believe in death. Today I wanted to blow myself up in a hospital, maybe even in the one in which I was treated. But since lots of Arabs come to be treated there, I decided I would go to another, maybe the Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. I wanted to kill 20, 50 Jews …”
The would be martyr was released from her life sentence in an Israeli prison as one of the 1027 terrorists freed in exchange for kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit. Today, Wafa Samir al-Biss is a hero to the Palestinians. After her release, she met with dozens of grade school children in her family’s home in northern Gaza and shared her dreams for their future.
“I hope you will walk the same path we took and God willing, we will see some of you as martyrs.”
Jewish doctors and Arab doctors, along with their dedicated support teams, will continue to work side by side in Israeli hospitals to treat every single person that comes to them. They will never turn away a patient because of where they come from or their religion or even their political beliefs. They are healers and peacemakers and true heroes.