World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


IDF field hospital treats Gaza civilians

12 August 2014

IDF field hospital treats Gaza civilians

The hospital is providing medical care to civilians injured during the current operation in Gaza.

By Rivka Borochov

Israeli medical relief workers have earned a name worldwide for their expertise in hitting the ground running in conflict and in turmoil. This was true in Haiti, when in January 2010 Israel’s IDF Medical and Rescue Team set up a lifesaving field hospital in Port-Au-Prince to offer urgent medical care to earthquake victims, and in 2011 when Israel did the same in Japan after a devastating tsunami.

This time, Israel has done something that would be unthinkable in other nations in times of war: it has set up a field hospital at the Erez Crossing, on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The aim of the field hospital, which opened on Sunday, July 20, is to provide humanitarian care to Gazan civilians injured during the current conflict between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas terrorists.

Major Guy Inbar, spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), said that, as of August 11, the field hospital had treated 51 people. Among them were women, children and the elderly.

This is despite efforts by Hamas to dissuade Gazans in urgent need of care from visiting the facility, added Inbar.

“The hospital started as an initiative of COGAT’s general to give first assistance and humanitarian aid to Palestinians injured since the beginning of the operation [in Gaza],” he said.

“Some of the Palestinians received first and immediate aid and returned to Gaza; some were in critical condition and were transferred for further treatment to Israel, the West Bank or Jordan.”

For innocents caught in crossfire

While Israel does its best to warn civilians hours before incoming strikes to flee the area, Hamas encourages people to stay put in order to become “martyrs” in the name of the Palestinian people.

For those who do get injured, passage to the Israeli field hospital can be fraught with dangers and crossfire. Some may arrive by Palestinian ambulance or be taken across to the border area by Israeli vehicles, Inbar says.

He will not comment on whether or not the hospital has treated Hamas terrorists, but an IDF soldier named Daniel Albo told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, “My team and I saved the life of a terrorist who tried to kill us because we are IDF soldiers and citizens of Israel. We saved him because we are human. I’m proud to serve in the IDF.”

Inbar says that Israel’s army opened the field hospital as a humanitarian act. The announcement was made after the entry into Gaza of a truckload of medical aid was delayed due to heavy shelling. According to Palestinian Authority Health Minister Jawad Awwad, the delay lasted two days. They asked for a humanitarian ceasefire to allow the supplies in, a request that Israel granted.

This is despite the fact that during the previous ceasefire request on July 17 three mortars rained down on Israel.

As of August 11, the field hospital was “still open and giving assistance,” Inbar’s office confirms. Able to accommodate 30 patients an hour, the facility is equipped to deal with emergency medicine, surgeries and family medicine.

Setting up a field hospital to treat the enemy is not new to Israel. In 2009, when hostilities between Israel and Gaza were winding down, Israel’s version of the Red Cross, the Magen David Adom (MDA) set up a center for Gazan civilians needing immediate care and expertise that Gaza facilities could not provide.

Waiting for the children

Meanwhile, Tamar Shapira, spokesperson and international director of Save A Child’s Heart (SACH), said that their doctors and staff are committed to continuing their work, regardless of the present situation.

Save A Child’s Heart head nurse Irena Nosel treats a Gazan baby at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.

SACH offers lifesaving pediatric heart surgery and follow-up care to children from developing countries, including Palestinian children. Since 1996, SACH has operated on more than 2000 children from 30 different countries. Normally, every Tuesday SACH’s volunteer doctors open their clinic at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon to give free cardiology exams and advice to parents of children with heart defects and related problems. This typically includes 15 or 20 patients from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and sometimes from other Arab countries.

VIDEO

Right now it is difficult for the Gazan children to get to the Israeli medical center, but Shapira is certain that they will begin arriving again as soon as things get back to normal.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:


US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>


Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news