180,000 Palestinians treated in Israeli hospitals this year

Thanks to efficient cooperation between the Israeli and the Palestinian sides, tens of thousands of Palestinians patients benefit from treatments in Israeli hospitals each year

Humanitarian dilemmas are a recurring issue in the Judea and Samaria region. A terrorist fires at IDF soldiers, is shot and gets wounded. Is an IDF medic to be called to treat him? A building is about to collapse in the heart of Ramallah. Does the IDF enter? Does it jeopardize its soldiers’ lives, or does it call the International Red Cross and risk losing precious time?

To Israel, the answer to these questions is clear. According to Division Medical Officer, Lt. Col. Michael Kassirer, “The treatment of the Palestinian population is first and foremost a moral and professional obligation for every one of us.” Do we treat them? There is no question about it. But what happens in the long run and how? Where do international organizations fit in? How will an independent Palestinian medical body be established and how does coordination between bodies happen in life? These are the real questions.

In order to start answering these questions, a special conference on the topic of humanitarian medicine was held on Monday (Nov. 22), atHadassah Medical Center at Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. Commanders and medics attended in order to speak and learn, from the most senior, IDF Chief Medical Officer and the Commander of Judea and Samaria Division, to the 19-year-old paramedics serving with the battalions in the region.

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