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Sunday, February 02, 2014

A first: IDF allows media into Golan field hospital

For the first time, the IDF has allowed the media to see a field hospital that is treating wounded Syrians in the Golan Heights (Hat Tip: Ricky G).
The hospital, staffed by soldiers in uniform, includes an emergency room, an intensive care unit, an operating theater, a mobile laboratory, a pharmacy and an x-ray facility. It treats Syrian patients who cross the border regardless of creed – or of where their loyalties lie.
The once-sporadic treatment of Syrian nationals in Israel has, by now, become routine, the report made clear: the wounded cross the border, and IDF medical teams deployed in the Golan Heights give them preliminary treatment. Those who are well enough are sent back across the border, and those who require further treatment are evacuated to the military hospital, a field commander at the facility told Channel 2. In this way, the hospital treats about a hundred Syrians per month.
Maj. Itay Zoarets, a senior surgeon, described the situation as “surreal.”
He said that while soldiers and commanders in the IDF’s medical corps underwent rigorous training to learn how to treat battle wounds, the Israeli military hadn’t encountered such injuries since the last big wars.
The wounded Syrians, he said, suffer from grave stomach and head injuries, as well as amputations and a range of other injuries. Extreme cases are transferred to Israeli civilian hospitals in the north and center of the country.
The patients also cross the border armed with gross misconceptions about Israel and its people.
“They say that before the previous week, before they came, they thought we were the Great Satan, the enemies, and looked for the tails between our legs,” Zoarets said.

Another patient, Latif, said, “They taught us about the Zionist enemy, the Zionist oppressor. But when we saw the Zionists, [we realized] they were nothing like what we’d been told. They’re human beings just like us, human, and even more than that.”
Ahmed, who was also being treated at the hospital at the time of filming, said that in the aftermath of the uprising against Assad, “we came to understand who is an enemy and who is a friend.”
He said that as the fighting raged on, many Syrians began to doubt what they’d been taught about the countries across the border from their own.
“The regime convinced us everyone around us is our enemy,” he said.
Read the whole thing.

Let's go to the videotape.

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