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January 1, 2015 12:19 pm

IDF Doctor in Emotional Reunion With Parents of Palestinian Baby Whose Life He Saved

avatar by Dave Bender

IDF docs rescue Palestinian baby. Photo: screenshot, Ch. 2.

IDF doctors rescued a Palestinian baby suffering from cardiac arrest. Photo: Channel 2

An emotional reunion has taken place at a Jerusalem hospital between a Palestinian family and the IDF medical officer who saved the life of their baby son as they crossed the Allenby Bridge from Jordan into Israel last weekend.

The baby was reported to have suffered a cardiac arrest at the crossing on Saturday morning. An IDF medical team led by 23-year-old Lt. Ronen Kessler quickly arrived at the scene and performed CPR before the baby was evacuated by helicopter to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, Kessler and division medical officer Moran Gershoni visited the family at the hospital.

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“They were really happy to see us,” Kessler said, according to a report from Israel’s Channel 2 News. “Most of the time, the father spoke English. He told of what had happened before they got to the crossing, and kept thanking us for what we did. The mother also thanked us and even hugged Gershoni. It was very exciting, but it’s not easy to see a boy of six months in such bad shape.”

“I appreciate everything that IDF soldiers did, and they were praying for my boy,” the baby’s father said. “They gave him first aid and took him by helicopter to Hadassah, even though he is not Israeli but Palestinian.”

Gershoni said the army’s medical treatment of Palestinians in such cases was unexceptional.

“Yesterday we performed CPR on a 16-month-old infant with a candy stuck in its throat. On Friday were were treating an injured Palestinian who was brought to the base gate in an unconscious state,” she said.

“Everyone who needs care is taken care of,” Gershoni emphasized.

Kessler added that the IDF does not differentiate between “blood and blood;” “that’s what we swore and what we do every day.

“The world probably will not see these images,” he reflected, stressing that “they represent the real army, and our values.”

Watch a video clip of the hospital bedside meeting.

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