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June 21, 2016 2:25 pm

Ahead of 10th Anniversary of Second Lebanon War, New Pediatric Hospital Inaugurated in Northern Israel, Fortified Against Potential Hezbollah Rocket-Fire

avatar by Ruthie Blum

The new pediatric hospital in Safed. Photo: Ziv Medical Center.

The new pediatric hospital in Safed. Photo: Ziv Medical Center.

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Second War in Lebanon, a new pediatric hospital was inaugurated in the Galilee on Tuesday, fully fortified against Katyusha rockets and earthquakes, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.

The four-story medical center in Safed, spanning 6,000 meters (approx. 19,700 feet), contains in-patient wards, an intensive care unit, an emergency room and additional clinics for children.

During Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, doctors, patients and hundreds of wounded Israelis treated at the Ziv Medical Center in the northern city were exposed to daily fire from the Lebanon-based Shiite terrorist organization. According to nrg, the rundown condition of the pediatric wing of the hospital was reason enough to build a medical center specifically for children. The added danger of rocket-fire – something that Israel cannot rule out in the future – made the project that much more urgent.

The walls of the new medical center were built in accordance with Home Front Command requirements: 30-cm (nearly 12 inches) of fortified concrete. The northern wall, that which faces Lebanon, is twice as thick. The structure is equipped with special doors and windows, as well as a ventilation system enabling a complete sealing off of the structure during an attack, without shutting off the air supply.

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Ziv Medical Center Director-General Salman Zarka said that the new fortified hospital, with in-patient wards built underground, is a vast improvement for the residents of the north, tourists, soldiers and Syrian civilians who are regularly treated there.

“This is a holiday for children of the North, the Galilee and the Golan Heights,” Zarka told nrg. “Finally, our excellent medical services have an excellent infrastructure to house them.”

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