IDF Sets Up New Medical Unit Exclusively to Help Palestinians
An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reserve company was recently assigned to exclusively provide humanitarian care and medical assistance to Palestinians. The company is comprised of medics and nurses, who are able to function like a civilian hospital staff.
Captain (Res.) Dr. Yishai Lev, the deputy commander of the company, explained that the idea for the unit came from IDF soldiers themselves. “The idea of adapting the unit actually came from our soldiers who recognized the need for it in the field,” explained Captain Dr. Lev. “This medical care stems from our commitment to the Jewish and modern value of human rights.”
The IDF captain further emphasized that when people are injured, they deserve treatment regardless of their race and nationality.
“We felt that medical care was needed for the entire population in times of need. Now, we provide first class care in a variety of situations: during and after riots, operations and even natural disasters,” elaborated Captain Dr. Lev on the IDF’s blog.
Furthermore, Palestinian patients are also offered an interpreter – and if additional care is required, patients can be sent for further medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.
The IDF company also works with Palestinian medical institutions in order to help setup and develop Palestinian medical infrastructure. “When people are in need of care, we can’t afford to be indifferent,” commented Captain Dr. Lev.
“My soldiers leave their families, children and jobs behind not just because they are obligated to carry out their reserve duty, but because they deeply understand the importance of fulfilling their mission and are happy to do so,” he further pointed out.
IDF paramedics and the Magen David Adom ambulance service regularly team up with Palestinian police and the Red Crescent to save Palestinians injured in traffic or work accidents or medical situations in Judea and Samaria.
In one case, an IDF doctor saved the life of a Palestinian baby in April 2014, when a Palestinian mother brought her one-month-old baby from the village of Beitin located northeast of Ramallah to a checkpoint. “The division headquarters received many phone calls from the villagers of Beitin who expressed their gratitude,” said the IDF doctor at the time of the incident, Sec. Lt. Ben Tzanani.