(photo credit: )
A team of Israeli and Palestinian doctors performed open-heart surgery on a Palestinian child Sunday near Tel Aviv in an unusual act of cooperation, according to the organization that sponsored the operation.
Malek, a two-and-a-half year-old girl from the West Bank village of Bidya was operated on at a Tel Aviv-area hospital by an international medical team including Israeli and American surgeons, Palestinian anesthesiologists and a Moldovan and Chinese doctor, spokeswoman Rachel Lasry Zahavi said.
The surgery was organized by Save A Child's Heart, an Israel-based, international humanitarian group that provides heart operations for children from developing countries in Israel.
A 1 1/2-year-old boy, also from the West Bank, will receive heart surgery on Monday, Lasry Zahavi said.
Fifteen Palestinian doctors from the West Bank and Gaza were expected to watch the surgeries as they were broadcast live in the medical center's main auditorium, she added.
The group has sponsored operations on more than 1,700 children since its founding in 1996. Almost half of these are Palestinian or from neighboring Arab countries, including Jordan and Iraq, the group said.