Reuters reports Syrians are growing increasingly aware of extensive Israeli efforts to treat victims of the two and a half year conflict raging inside the Arab country.
Israel set up a field hospital early in the conflict. Within a few months Syrians were being transported to regular Israeli hospitals – to the point where one northern hospital became a key hub for treatment – and stories were filtering out about care being provided to everyone from Syrian fighters to wounded children.
Word is getting around:
Not a hundred miles from Damascus, a Syrian rebel lies in a hospital bed, an Israeli sentry at the door. Nearby a Syrian mother sits next to her daughter, shot in the back by a sniper…. The woman’s 16-year-old daughter, whose wounds have left her paralyzed in both legs, lies stone-faced as an Israeli hospital clown juggles and dances, trying in vain to raise a smile…
The Free Syrian Army fighter said word of Israeli treatment was spreading back home: “I was happy when I found I was here,” he said. “Most fighters know they will get good care in Israel.” Medical staff say they make no distinctions among those they treat and some have formed close bonds with Syrian patients: “In medicine there are no borders, no color, no nationality,” said Oscar Embon, director general of the Ziv Medical Center in Safed. “You treat each and every person and I am proud that we are able to do this.”
Not a small portion of the outreach being conducted toward Israel by moderate opposition groups is grounded in the humanitarian assistance that Israelis are providing to war victims.
For its part the Syrian regime has taken to retaliating against the families of victims who seek medical care in the Jewish state:
For all the advantages it brings of excellent medical care, it is a journey fraught with risk for those who fear the wrath of President Bashar al-Assad’s government. “There was one man, where I am from, who was treated in Israel. The regime forces killed his three brothers,” the teenage girl’s mother said. “They will kill my sons and my husband if they ever find out we were here.”
[Photo: AFP / YouTube]