Israel helping wounded Syrians

Posted Nov 18, 2015 by Mark Shiffer
As the carnage continues in Syria, Israel is taking in wounded along it's border. The humanitarian effort continues, regardless of the factions patients belong to.
A man carries a young girl who was injured in a reported barrel-bomb attack by government forces on ...
A man carries a young girl who was injured in a reported barrel-bomb attack by government forces on June 3, 2014 in Kallaseh district in the northern city of Aleppo
Baraa al-Halabi, AFP/File
Israeli hospitals near the Syrian border have been treating people injured during the bloody Syrian civil war for years, regardless of political affiliation. Four hospitals have been authorized by to treat the wounded free of charge. The main care facility is the Ziv Medical Center in Zefat. Many of the injured are surprised to find themselves cared for by a country they had been taught to hate all their lives. Israel and Syria have technically been in a state of war since 1967.
Over 2,000 Syrians have been admitted to Israeli hospitals so far. Seventeen percent of medical patients are children. Ten Syrian babies have been born inside Israel.
Cor Dr. Salman Zarka is an Arab Druze citizen of Israel, one of a number of medical staff tending to the wounded coming in from Syria. Zarka speaks Arabic and is able to communicate with patients. He says that they get different kinds of patients. Some are civilians caught in the crossfire while others are government or opposition fighters. Zarka recounts one of his charges being an Assad government regime officer: "He told us very clearly, he used to think we are inhuman and now that we saved his life, he thinks different."
Most Syrian patients don't want to be photographed or have their real names given. They are afraid of repercussions when they return and found to have been treated by "the enemy."
After patients are considered well enough in Israeli hospitals like Ziv, they are taken back to the Syrian border to go home. Some may return at some point for further medical attention or surgery if they can get back to Israel. There is a sliver of hope by some hospital staff that this humanitarian effort will start to build some links of peace between enemies.