Safed Hospital Treats 200th Syria Civil War Victim

Medical treatment for patients' war-inflicted wounds has cost medical center $4 million.

Eli Ashkenazi
Eli Ashkenazi
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Eli Ashkenazi
Eli Ashkenazi

Safed's Rebecca Sieff Hospital reached a milestone on Wednesday when it treated its 200th Syrian wounded in the country's civil war and brought over by Israeli forces.

A 21-year-old was evacuated to Safed after sustaining gun wounds to his waist and abdomen. He underwent emergency surgery overnight and was hospitalized in intensive care.

10 Syrians are currently hospitalized at Sieff, including five children and one woman. Eight have arrived over the past week, including a 10-year-old with both legs amputated and his 6-year-old cousin, who has one leg amputated and an open fracture in the other; a 4-year-old child with a complex open fracture in his left leg; and an 18-month-old baby with a severe hand injury. Shrapnel wounds throughout the body are the common denominator to all victims.

The Israeli Defense Forces began transferring wounded Syrians for treatment at Sieff about ten months ago. The cost has reached 14 million shekels (over $4 million), according to the hospital and now the Health, Defense and Finance ministries are debating how to cover the expense.

By comparison, Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, another medical center in northern Israel near the border, has so far treated 175 wounded Syrians.

According to Sieff director Dr. Oscar Embon the hospital will continue providing medical treatment to Syrian patients as long as needed, the same way it provides treatment to any sick or injured person who seeks its services.

“Rebecca Sieff Hospital faithfully treats every sick or wounded person with the aim of saving lives and easing suffering and as part of the doctors’ oath which the staff has signed,” Embon said.

"Treating the wounded Syrians brought to us by the IDF is no different from treating any other person and is performed professionally and sensitively according to the individual needs of every patient. The cases in question are very severe, with horrible war injuries sustained by women, children and infants. We cannot remain indifferent to these wounds, regardless of the identity of the patients.”

The hospital is now collecting donations to help purchase medical equipment for wounded Syrians through its website.

G., 15, being treated at the hospital. The longing for family and homeland are usually stronger than the fear of returning.Credit: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv

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