While Hamas attacks from Gaza, with half the state of Israel under threat, many Gazans continue to receive medical treatment in Israel.
Rambam Health Care Campus provides medical care to patients from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (PA) year- round. Currently, hospitalized patients include three adults and eight children from Gaza, and three adults and two children from the PA. Additional patients from Gaza are scheduled for treatment later this week.
According to Yazid Falah, the coordinator for Palestinian patients coming to Rambam, “Despite the security situation, and despite the fact that both sides are fighting, all continues as usual in the realm of medical cooperation,” explains Falah, “even in times of war we continue to receive patients and give them the care they need — children and adults.”
While the medical routine is maintained, the current situation cannot be avoided and there is a feeling of tension in the air. Falah is in close contact with the Palestinians patients.
“On the one hand, they are in Israel and see the consequences of the actions of Hamas and how people get hurt on this side of the border. On the other hand, their families in Gaza are under attack by the IDF and they fear for the lives of their loved ones,” says Falah. “There are those who have told me they are ashamed of what Gaza is doing, and others say they are afraid of how people will talk and look at them here in the hospital. Other have said they are afraid to return to Gaza.”
Rambam treats hundreds of patients each year from the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, including 650 children and teenagers in 2013.