In Rambam Hospital's waiting room

Dozens of soldiers filled the halls and the waiting room at Haifa's Rambam Hospital on Wednesday, which was treating 24 men who were wounded in Lebanon. Two of the 24 were in serious condition and six were moderately wounded. The remainder were lightly wounded. Soldiers sat on the floor with their backs against a ledge, or on a small wall near the emergency room. One soldier who sat outside smoking said that many members of his unit were inside, injured. Liore Sharabi was among those who were lightly wounded. He sat up in bed wearing a kippa and glasses as another wounded soldier lay asleep in the bed along side his. A student at the Hesder Yeshiva in Sderot, Sharabi left a city that had suffered barrages of Kassam rockets to help stop Hizbullah from launching rockets into northern cities and towns. He dismissed the Kassams with a smile. "I've gotten used to them," he said. What was new for him was facing such heavy fire. He said his unit was sent to Bint Jbail to rescue wounded soldiers. As gunfire raged around them, his unit moved the wounded into a house. Sharabi himself was wounded by shrapnel in his leg. He made his way into the home and was later evacuated. "I never thought I would be in that kind of a situation," said Sharabi, who lives in Adam near Jerusalem. He turns 21 in August and is due to be released from the army next month. As he spoke, his mother watched the news on a television screen above his head. She moved to make way for a third injured soldier who was wheeled into the room along with his mother, Yaffa Golan of Ashkelon. Knowing that her son, 21, was serving in Lebanon, Golan has been glued to the news, either television or radio, for the last two weeks. When she first heard that soldiers had been wounded Wednesday, she tried to call her son, but to her dismay there was no answer. Instead she received a call from Rambam Hospital informing her that he was among those lightly wounded. While he lay in the hospital bed joking with his friends who were visiting, she stood nervously at the edge of his bed. "I'm calmer now," the mother said.