While Hamas terrorists continued to hurl rockets and missiles at Israel, including the city of Haifa, Rambam Medical Center is now treating 20 Palestinians, including eight children from Gaza.
The largest hospital in Haifa said on Thursday that it provides medical care to Palestinians year round. The latest group to come were 11 from the Palestinian Authority area and nine more from Gaza who needed outpatient care. Most of them are children suffering from cancer or kidney disease who cannot get adequate care near their homes. They were accompanied by family members. Some children are also hospitalized at Rambam over the long term.
Every year, hundreds of Palestinian outpatients and inpatients, including some 650 children and teens, are treated at the Haifa medical center. Some of them come with very difficult conditions that require hospitalization.
Yazid Fallah, who coordinates medical treatment at the hospital for Palestinians, said that “despite the security situation and the fact that the two sides are fighting each other, medical care for children and adults continues as usual.”
He added that the Gaza patients “feel locked up in an impossible situation. On the one hand, they are in Israel and see what Gaza terrorists have done, and at the same team they see how their own population is being hurt by retaliatory attacks from Israel and are worried for the safety of their families.”
Fallah reported that some Palestinian patients are ashamed of what the terrorists have done, but are afraid to return to Gaza out of concerned that they would be punished for going to an Israeli hospital for treatment. In general, they want to live quietly, but it’s clear to them that the situation has changed for the worse and is declining,” the Rambam staffer said.
Yet despite the insane political situation, “the human factor is victorious. Long-term patients from Gaza have a presence that people are used to and there are good relations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Fallah said. When this round of terrorism and bombing began, Palestinian patients feared they would encounter antagonism. “We calmed then down and said there is no such danger in an Israeli hospital. We see humans and not antagonists. Israeli patients try to make the Palestinian patients feel comfortable. They believe that they are all in the same boat.”
Meanwhile, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said that there is a shortage in petrol, medical equipment, rescue vehicles, medical teams and medications in Gaza hospitals. The health system there may collapse, the PHRI said. There are some 500 wounded in the hospitals. More than half of them are at Shifa Hospital, the largest medical center in the Gaza Strip. The voluntary organization of Israeli doctors also said that some medical facilities have suffered damage from the retaliatory Israel Air Force attacks.