Israel preparing a field hospital for Ukraine, Health Minister says

The Israeli field hospital will be managed entirely by the Health Ministry and not by the IDF Medical Corps.

 Israel prepares to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine, March 1, 2022 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Israel prepares to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine, March 1, 2022
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Israel is preparing to set up a field hospital to help wounded Ukrainians, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said on Thursday.

“It will be operated by civilians; preparations are underway in the Health Ministry,” Horowitz told Kan Bet. “There are many volunteers, medical professionals and medics who want to go.”

The field hospital will be managed entirely by the Health Ministry and not by the IDF Medical Corps, the minister said.

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“Our aid is coordinated with the Ukrainian government and we are sending it through Poland at this point," he said. "It is part of our expression of solidarity with Ukraine."

A field hospital is something that Kyiv had specifically asked Israel to establish.

 Israel prepares to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine, March 1, 2022 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Israel prepares to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine, March 1, 2022 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Earlier this week, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk said, following discussions with the Israeli Foreign Ministry: “I hope that they will consider this possibility to provide for medical assistance to the wounded soldiers and civilians. The discussion is ongoing whether it should be the mobile or field hospital or it should be the medical treatment provided in Israel.”

The Foreign Ministry is preparing an additional humanitarian aid package for Ukraine, following the 100 tons it sent this week.

Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Eurasia Gary Koren said that "the Ukrainian Health Ministry and one of the central hospitals in Lviv sent organized lists."

"We are working closely with the airlines and we are in advanced preparations," he told Army Radio.

Other items expected to be in the next round of humanitarian aid are generators that Israel bought, which will be brought to Ukraine directly from Europe, Army Radio reported and a diplomatic source confirmed.

In addition, Israel plans to continue to send medical equipment, medications and bandages.

Ukraine has also asked for protective gear, such as helmets and ceramic vests, which Korniychuk said Europe has run out of, and weapons.

Israel condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a statement and at the UN General Assembly, but has stopped short at providing any military aid, because of Russia’s major presence in Syria. The Israeli Air Force coordinates with the Russian Army before it strikes Iranian targets in its northeastern neighbor.

When asked why Israel hasn’t voiced its condemnation more robustly, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request that Israel try to mediate with Russia, telling Channel 13: “The players want us in a place where we can hold dialogue with everyone.”