The world should hear about Israel’s quality treatment of Syrian patients in its hospitals, US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt said on Tuesday after visiting Ziv Medical Center in Safed.
“These are the stories of Israel the world needs to hear, and stories like this show how peace in the region can be possible,” Greenblatt said after visiting the hospital, which has taken care of hundreds of Syrians wounded in their country’s civil war.
According to a US Embassy statement, some 3,500 Syrian wounded have been treated in Israeli hospitals, including more than 1,000 at Ziv. Greenblatt toured the facility, and spoke with some of the Syrians being treated there.
Greenblatt also went to the Gilboa crossing (Jalame) near Jenin on Tuesday, to look at and hear about various Israeli-Palestinian economic projects there. His visit took place a little more than a month after the US brokered significant Israeli-Palestinian economic agreements dealing with electricity and water.
Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz and the coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, accompanied Greenblatt. Katz issued a statement saying that the visit was held in the framework of ongoing meetings with Greenblatt “to enhance economic and infrastructure initiatives which will benefit all parties in the region.”
In July, Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement on a new power substation in Jenin and the sale by Israel to the PA of 33 million cubic meters of water each year, agreements Greenblatt said were examples of how the two sides can cooperate to improve Palestinian living conditions.
According to Katz’s office, Tuesday’s visit focused on Katz’s initiative to connect the Haifa Port via the Beit She’an railway link to the Jordan River Crossing/Sheikh Hussein Bridge border point with Jordan, and southward to Jenin where the Palestinians could connect to it. Katz’s ambitious plan, called “Tracks for Peace,” would also give Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states access via rail links to the Mediterranean through Israel’s ports in Haifa and Ashdod.
Mordechai briefed Greenblatt on the security and economic situation in the northern West Bank, as well as initiatives Israel is advancing to develop the economy and “improve the fabric of life in the region.”
These include the Jalame Industrial Zone, the recently opened electricity substation in Jenin, and a future power station in the area.
“The security situation and the civil and security coordination are the basis for all cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” Mordechai said.