Israeli-Palestinian cooperation aids Kusra victim

In rare move, joint operation sees wounded Palestinian helicoptered to Hadassah hospital; IDF investigating live fire claim.

February 24, 2013 22:58
2 minute read.
West bank village of Qusra, near Nablus September 16, 2011.

Qusra, Nablus village. 370. (photo credit: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)


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In an unusual joint Israeli-Palestinian operation, a victim of the violence outside the West Bank village of Kusra was sent by helicopter from the outskirts of Nablus to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Karem neighborhood, for treatment on Sunday evening.

The IDF is investigating the possibility that Halmi Abed Elaziz Sadek Hasan, 27, was one of two Palestinians who were shot with live ammunition by Israeli civilians during Saturday’s clashes between area settlers, Palestinians and Israeli security forces. A third Palestinian was wounded by a rubber bullet from Israeli security forces.

Hasan, 27, was hit in the stomach, and rushed to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where he was operated on Saturday.

But as his situation deteriorated on Sunday, Palestinian health officials worked with the civil administration to send him to Hadassah in Ein Karem.

The IDF, however, could not enter Nablus for the medical transfer, nor could an Israeli helicopter fly into the city. So physician Micha Shamir from Hadassah in Ein Karem said that he and paramedic Moshe Salah entered Nablus to pick up Hasan.

“From time to time we get patients from the Palestinian Authority,” he said. “What is unusual is that we went inside [Palestinian territory] to take him out,” Shamir said.

Representatives from the PA met them at the entrance to the city, Shamir said.

They placed the transport monitors and other equipment in a PA vehicle, and were driven to the hospital, he said.

He said everyone was very polite.

“It took us an hour to prepare him for transport and to connect him to our equipment,” Shamir said. They then went with him in a Red Crescent ambulance under heavy police escort to the checkpoint outside Nablus, he said.

A helicopter that had waited for them outside the city flew them to Hadassah within 10 minutes, Shamir said.

He said the man’s condition was serious, but stable, and that he would likely need more surgery.

Hasan’s father, Habed, told The Jerusalem Post he was grateful to both the Palestinian Authority and Israel for their efforts on his son’s behalf.

“I am asking God to help make sure he comes home in good health,” said Habed, who had traveled to Hadassah to be at his son’s beside.

He said that his son was a student at Al-Quds University. He added that his son already had a small daughter and his wife was pregnant with their second child.

Habed said that his son was shot when settlers came to the village and attacked them. Settlers in turn have said that Palestinians attacked them by coming close to the Esh Kodesh outpost and throwing stones.

Video footage shows clashes taking places on the outskirts of Kusra and in the farmland between the two communities.

One photograph on the Kusra Facebook page appears to show an Israeli civilian holding a handgun during the clashes.

The IDF said that the clashes occurred between 200 Palestinians and 25 settlers and that they were still investigating the matter.

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