Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hamas dependants can go to Israeli hospitals but not Gazans!

Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, on Monday accused Hamas of a double standard for allowing the daughter of the group's leader Ismail Haniyeh to receive medical treatment in Israel.

"When there is a personal interest, Hamas has no problem in allowing patients to come into Israel," Mordechai said during an interview with the Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

Mordecai criticized Hamas conduct during Operation Protective Edge, claiming that the group's leaders prevented injured Gazans from reaching the field hospital set up by Israel on the Gaza border.

The hospitalized girl is one of Haniyeh's 13 children. She suffered complications from routine treatment, was transferred to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv via the Erez Crossing, and sent back to her home last week.
When Israel receives a request for treatment, it is not interested in the relatives of the patient, whether it's Haniyeh or some other people," said Mordecai.

"Haniyeh's daughter is one of more than the one thousand patients from the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority areas, both adults and children, that we treat each year," said Ichilov Hospital in response.


A Palestinian source told the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the treatment and transfer of the patient had been coordinated with the Palestinian Authority, and that relatives of other Palestinian officials had also been treated in Israel in the past.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Diplomatic Assault More Dangerous than Hamas

By Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the USA
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas proved that he is not a partner for peace.  And a Palestinian leader who accuses the State of Israel, which arose from the ashes of the Holocaust, of committing genocide in Gaza, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, has no intention of becoming a partner for peace either.
In his previous General Assembly speeches, Abbas denied the Jewish people's historical connection to the Land of Israel and Jerusalem. But this time he conveyed an unprecedented message: He does not want negotiations - not even American-brokered talks - and is not interested in durable pace based on security arrangements and mutual recognition...
Abbas' plan basically sets an impossible ultimatum for Israel : He has asked the UN Security Council to impose a nine-month period of negotiations, during which the core issues will be discussed based on the 1967 borders, without security arrangements and with a solution to the refugee problem.  If Israel refuses to accept these conditions - and there is not a single Israeli government, even a left-wing one, which will be prepared to accept them - Abbas will turn to the International Criminal Court in order to impose sanctions on Israel as an occupying force of a UN member state...
We must not forget that we are not operating in a void. The United States and President Barack Obama are currently dealing with significant threats in our region, led by ISIS . When Obama said in his UN address that the establishment of a Palestinian state was part of the war on ISIS, he was basically demonstrating how the regional challenges are only increasing the pressure on Israel...

We must not wait for the point in which we have lost control over our future. Our approach is to initiate for our future.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Israel`s Contribution to Palestinian Healthcare in 2013.

(With thanks to Charles Abelson of TbT – Truth be Told)

Quick Overview:

Since 1967, when Israel captured the areas of Judea and Samaria, Palestinian infant mortality has been reduced from approximately 100/1,000 to 13.49/1,000. Gaza: 15.46. Life expectancy has risen by about 10 years.

1)  Life Expectancy

a)    Judea, Samaria 75.69 years
b)    Gaza 74.64
c)    Jordan 74.10 years
d)    Egypt 73.45 years.
e)    Turkey 73.29 years.
f)     Israel 82.1 years (higher than USA)

2) Mortality Rate

Palestinian Territory’s low rate of Infant mortality also belies any accusation of "genocide".

Infant mortality rate compares the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year, and is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country
Both the West Bank and Gaza have a lower rate of infant mortality (13.49 and 15.46) than Egypt. (22.41 deaths per thousand births), Syria (15.79), Jordan (15.73) and Turkey (21.43).

In spite of all evidence to the contrary, the enemies of Israel and the enemies of truth continue to bandy about spurious accusations of "genocide".

Massacre? Genocide? “Do not care”? You decide.

2013 Judea, Samaria:

Health Permits: Israel permits the transfer of Palestinian patients for treatment in Israel whenever required due to inadequacies in the Palestinian health system. The number of medical permits issued were (previous years also stated):

2011:   197,713
2012:   210,469
2013:   225,410

Due diligence: for each patient, one permit was issued for a family member accompanying the patient. Thus for 2013 there were about 110,000 patients (over 400 each weekday) and about 120,000 permits for family members.  

Massacre? Genocide? “Do not care”? You decide.

Emergency transfers:

In emergency situations the rapid transfer of patients in dire need of advanced medical treatment to be examined in Israeli hospitals is permitted.

In 2013 the number of emergency medical evacuations rose, with Israel providing 2,207 evacuations by ambulance (up from 600 in 2012) and 11 medical evacuations by helicopter (up from 10 in 2012).

Israel also arranged for the overseas treatment of five Palestinians whose medical needs were unable to be met in Israel.

Massacre? Genocide? “Do not care”? You decide.

Children:

The number of Palestinian children from the West Bank who received medical treatment in Israel in 2013 stood at 40,000, an increase from the previous year's 21,270.

Israel was responsible for the coordination and funding of 10 "fun days" for 250 Palestinian children, who were also joined by members of their families.

Israel spent more than a million NIS to provide various treatments for dozens of Palestinian children hailing from families unable to afford the necessary medical bills (probably unable to afford Palestinian health insurance payments).

Massacre? Genocide? “Do not care”? You decide.

He who saves a life saves the world. The story of one Palestinian child, Yakub Bachziat, 16, Bethlehem

Yakub was born at Sharei Tzedek Hospital (Jerusalem) in Israel and was immediately diagnosed with acute kidney failure. His condition led to several other medical problems, and he had to undergo several treatments in the hospital. None of his family members were compatible donors, so the family, completely despondent, turned to Dalia Basa, the Israeli Health Coordinator with the Palestinian Health Authority for help. Three days after Dalia met with the child, a donor was found: a deceased Israeli child whose parents had agreed to donate his kidneys. Immediately, Yakub was transferred to Schneider Medical Center (Petach Tikva) for the life-saving transplant. The operation and medical expenses at Schneider were covered by Israel, at the cost of 200,030 NIS. Since the surgery Yakub has maintained perfect health.

Training

Israel promotes the development of the Palestinian health system through several different programs and training.

 In 2013, 2,314 Palestinian doctors, nurses, and other medical health care professionals attended 159 courses, conventions and programs that Israel hosted.

Israel provides a special program for training physicians, nurses and technicians at Israeli hospitals, for  the sake of operating hospitals in Judea and Samaria, and to improve the Palestinian health system.

Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital (Jerusalem) trains 60 Palestinian interns who are replaced every year. Also, technicians and nurses from the Bet Jala Hospital (Palestinian Authority) are trained in cancer treatment, while a program operates out of Augusta Victoria Hospital regarding diagnostic medicine.

During May 2013, the Palestinian Minister of Health, Dr. Hanni Abadin, paid an unprecedented visit to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. Dr. Abadin thanked Hadassah for the opportunity to visit and for its services, visited Arab children hospitalized at Hadassah and gave them gifts.

Massacre? Genocide? “Do not care”? You decide.

2013 Gaza:

Health: Erez Crossing (People)

The Erez crossing is open between the hours of 08:00-16:00 Sunday through Thursday, and 08:00-14:00 on Fridays. However, it is staffed 24/7 in the event of emergency.

Medical Permits for Gaza Palestinians

In cases of dire need, Israel permits the entrance of patients in need of medical treatment in Israel. Medical Evacuations- High priority is given to the processing of medical requests. The services requested by those who received permits to enter Israel included hospitalizations, long-term treatment, and short-term emergency medical care. In 2012  there were 9946 cases

In 2013, 13,734 permits for healthcare in Israel were granted, of these - 4,519 were in need of specialized medical transport, which was provided for them.

Despite frequent claims that Israel turns away ambulances carrying people in desperate need of medical services, in 2013, out of the 1,189 ambulances which requested permits, 1,188 received them, and only one was refused.

Amongst the Gazan residents treated in Israel were the sister and granddaughter of Hamas`s leader, Ismail Haniyeh.

Health: Kerem Shalom (trucks)

In 2013, Israel coordinated the entrance of 2,311 truckloads of medical supplies, carrying thousands of tons of medical equipment into the Strip. Included in these shipments were large amounts of polio vaccines, as periodic tests turned up positive for poliovirus in the area. In order to ensure the health of residents in Gaza, Israel took special measures to ensure sufficient shipment of the needed vaccine.

Massacre? Genocide? “Do not care”? You decide.


How did Hamas make payment for these healthcare services? In 2013, a relatively quiet year, there were only 41 rocket attacks on southern Israel.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gazans Speak Out: Hamas War Crimes

 Mudar Zahran September 19, 2014



Mudar Zahran is a Palestinian writer and academic from Jordan, who resides in the UK.

"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.

"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.

"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.

"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student

"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.

"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.

While the world's media has been blaming Israel for the death of Gazan civilians during Operation Protective Edge, this correspondent decided to speak with Gazans themselves to hear what they had to say.

They spoke of Hamas atrocities and war crimes implicating Hamas in the civilian deaths of its own people.

Although Gazans, fearful of Hamas's revenge against them, were afraid to speak to the media, friends in the West Bank offered introductions to relatives in Gaza. One, a renowned Gazan academic, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that as soon as someone talked to a Western journalist, he was immediately questioned by Hamas and accused of "communicating with the Mossad". "Hamas makes sure that the average Gazan will not talk to Western journalists -- or actually any journalists at all," he said, continuing:

       "Hamas does not want the truth about Gaza to come out. Hamas 
        terrorizes and kills us just like Daesh [ISIS] terrorizes kills Iraqis. Hamas           is a  dictatorship that kills us. The Gazans you see praising Hamas on TV           are either Hamas members or too afraid to speak against Hamas. Few               foreign [Western] journalists were probably able to report what Gazans             think of Hamas."

Many more comments in the full report at  http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4706/gazan-hamas-war-crimes#




Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas’s Dangerous Grandstanding

September 29  

For full article go to   http://tinyurl.com/m5azgul  

  
THE GOOD news from the Middle East is that the truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has held for a month, and Hamas appears ready to make concessions to avoid a resumption of fighting. Last week the Islamist movement renewed its agreement with the secular Fatah party to turn over Gaza’s government and security control of its borders to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority. Though it’s not clear that the accord will last, Hamas is emerging as the loser of the summer war. According to Israel, as much as 80 percent of Hamas’s military arsenal has been destroyed, and its poll ratings among Palestinians are sinking as it fails to deliver the gains it promised from the conflict.

Hamas’s diminution might seem to create new possibilities for agreement between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Abbas, after all, denounced Hamas’s embrace of carnage and refused to support a simultaneous uprising in the West Bank. Yet Mr. Abbas delivered a bridge-burning speech to the U.N. General Assembly last week, mendaciously accusing Israel of “a new war of genocide” and declaring that a return to negotiations was “impossible.”

For several years Mr. Abbas has oscillated between half-hearted participation in peace talks and attempts to advance the Palestinian cause through unilateral action at the United Nations. The latter initiatives have no chance of substantive success and risk being self-defeating, as the Palestinians should have learned from Mr. Abbas’s last such gambit in 2012. Then their lobbyists were unable to win enough support for a U.N. Security Council resolution even to force a U.S. veto, and a compensatory symbolic measure in the General Assembly provoked Israel to impose painful financial sanctions.

Mr. Abbas nevertheless is trying the Security Council again, after refusing to respond to a U.S. framework for peace talks painstakingly developed by Secretary of State John F. Kerry. He proposes a resolution that would mandate the creation of a Palestinian state based on Israel’s 1967 borders in a set period of time; when it is voted down or vetoed by the United States, the Palestinians hint that they will seek a war crimes investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court. That, in turn, would almost certainly prompt retaliatory sanctions by Mr. Netanyahu’s government and possibly by Congress, which supplies the Palestinian Authority with much of its funding.

Mr. Abbas has repeatedly rejected violence, and he has convinced a series of U.S. and Israeli negotiators that he has a realistic view of the terms for a Palestinian state. Yet he has now rejected platforms for a settlement on two occasions from two U.S. presidents. He persists in grandstanding gestures that he must know will only delay the serious negotiations that must precede the creation of a Palestinian state and that undermine those in Israel who support such talks. He has spoken for years of retiring but, at 79, he clings to his post four years after his elected term expired. Hamas has done the most harm to Palestinians and their cause in recent years. But Mr. Abbas has done little good.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Palestinians and the "Death Boats" Scandal

Khaled Abu Toameh  September 27, 2014  
Summary
As the past few weeks have, shown, hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians would rather risk their lives at sea than live under Palestinian governments and leaders whose only goal is to enrich their bank accounts.
Instead of creating job opportunities for young men and women, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have spent the past seven years fighting over money and power. They are now busy planning how to lay their hands on the millions of dollars that are supposed to go to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Hamas wants to use the Palestinian Authority as a tool through which the international community channels funds to he Gaza Strip — a move that would  ultimately empower Hamas to tighten its grip over the Palestinian population there.
They said that Hamas officials are providing the emigrants with forged visas and travel documents to to enable them to enter Europe.
=======================
Over the past few weeks, dozens of Palestinian immigrants from the Gaza Strip have been killed or injured while trying to reach Europe by sea.
At least 500 Palestinians have gone missing after the boats carrying them sank in the sea. Some reports have suggested that rival gangs deliberately sunk the boats. The gangs are fighting for the cash the Palestinians are prepared to pay to leave the Gaza Strip. Palestinians refer to the situation as their "Death Boats" scandal.

The Palestinian immigrants are said to have paid thousands of dollars to Hamas officials and Egyptian smugglers to facilitate the exodus from the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki claimed that each Palestinian paid $1,000 to Hamas personnel at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Others are believed to have paid $5,000 each to leave the Gaza Strip.
Malki said that preliminary investigations have revealed that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have fallen victim to Hamas and Egyptian gangsters who managed to lure them with false promises.

According to various reports, some 13,000 Palestinians have already fled the Gaza Strip to Europe with the help of the gangsters. Most left through Hamas's smuggling tunnels or by bribing its security officials at the Rafah terminal. Another 25,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have applied to various European countries for immigration.
Although Hamas has denied any connection to the mass exodus, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip revealed that the Islamist movement had set up special offices to register those wishing to start a new life in Europe. They said that Hamas officials are providing the emigrants with forged visas and travel documents to enable them to enter Europe.

A Palestinian journalist in Gaza City said that at one of the mosques in the southern Gaza Strip, a leading Hamas preacher told worshippers: "Those who are not happy can always emigrate to Europe. We do not force anyone to stay here."

Most of the immigrants left the Gaza Strip through a two-kilometer tunnel belonging to a senior Hamas operative. Survivors told a Palestinian Authority Commission of Inquiry that when they reached the Egyptian side of the border, Egyptian gangsters intercepted them and robbed them of their money.

"Hamas gangsters worked in cooperation with gangsters on the Egyptian side of the border," said a senior Palestinian Authority official involved with the inquiry commission. "They operated like a real mafia, exploiting the predicament of the people, especially young men who were hoping to find jobs and better lives in Italy and other European countries."

Palestinians say that the emigration began long before the last military confrontation between Hamas and Israel. But the trend has witnessed a dramatic increase since the end of the fighting in late August.

"Hamas has failed to help the Palestinians ever since it came to power in 2007," said Ahmed Bader, whose son managed to leave the Gaza Strip through a tunnel one week after the end of the fighting. "There is nothing for the young people to do in the Gaza Strip: no jobs, no entertainment and no security. Young men who graduate from universities cannot find work if they are not members of Hamas."

Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority bear responsibility for the tragedy of the Palestinian immigrants. The two rival parties have failed to improve the living conditions of their people in the Gaza Strip.  Instead of creating job opportunities for young men and women, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have spent the past seven years fighting over money and power.

Hamas says that Palestinians are fleeing the Gaza Strip because their leader (Mahmoud Abbas) is a helpless 80-year-old man "who suffers from half the diseases of the universe." The Palestinian Authority, for its part, says that the Palestinians are fleeing the "hell of Hamas.". Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are trading allegations and abuses while their people are being exploited emotionally and financially, then robbed, drowned and fed to sharks.

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are now busy planning how to lay their hands on the millions of dollars that are supposed to go to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

At last week's "reconciliation" talks between the two sides in Cairo, they completely ignored the tragedy of the Palestinian immigrants. Once again, Hamas and Fatah officials exchanged kisses and hugs as they announced yet another agreement to implement a previous agreement. 

In fact, this is what Hamas and Fatah have been doing since 2006 – signing one reconciliation agreement after the other without tangible results. Needless to say, so far none of these agreements has been implemented. Skeptics say the most recent agreement between Hamas and Fatah is also likely to remain ink on paper due to the wide gap between the two parties.

Hamas appears to be willing to bring the Palestinian Authority back to the Gaza Strip not because it has changed its ideology. Rather, Hamas wants to use the Palestinian Authority as a tool through which the international community channels funds to the Gaza Strip – a move that would ultimately empower Hamas to tighten its grip over the Palestinian population there.
But many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have obviously lost their confidence in both Abbas and Hamas. As the past few weeks have shown, hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians would rather risk their lives at sea than live under Palestinian governments and leaders whose only goal is to enrich their bank accounts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Co-existence in the Children’s Ward

Debra Kamin September 11, 2014,

http://www.timesofisrael.com/co-existence-in-the-childrens-ward/
 
At Rambam Hospital in Haifa, kids from Israel, Gaza and the West Bank are studying together in between treatments

Hodaya is 8 years old and her favorite color is pink. She is small for her age, and over her tiny, pale face she wears a green paper surgical mask.
Hodaya would have loved to join the millions of Israeli students who went back to school on September 1, but she couldn’t. That’s because Hodaya is suffering from an aggressive form of bone cancer, and like dozens of other children at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital, she can’t leave the building.
Instead, Hodaya goes to school for a few hours a day inside of the hospital building. And while she doesn’t have the shiny new backpack, the gleaming locker or the pages upon pages of homework that other students in Israel have, she has something that none of them can even dream of: friends from Gaza and the West Bank, who are hospitalized alongside her and learning in the same classroom.

At Rambam, which is the largest medical center in the country’s north and one of Israel’s most renowned, pediatric education follows the same model as it does in hospitals across the country: the Education Ministry oversees curriculum and coursework, and sets mandates for the number of hours each day that hospitalized children must attend class.
But when you have 5-year-olds on dialysis and 11-year-olds undergoing chemotherapy, nothing, not even math homework, is normal. And at Rambam, where on average half of the beds in the pediatric wing are filled by children from Gaza and the West Bank, the banalities of reading, writing and arithmetic become even more surreal.
 


Dima Chamra, an Arab art therapist at Rambam, greets
17-year-old Sana Charoob, a patient from Jenin (left),
while Amtaz Manfor, a Druze teacher at Rambam, stands
behind 8-year-old patient Simdosh Chansan Jamal, also
from Jenin (right). (photo credit: Ofer Golan)

“We try to make them feel as normal as possible, even though it’s not a normal thing to be hospitalized,” says Ilana Levy, who manages all of the hospital education centers in Haifa, including that of Rambam. “We don’t care where you are from. We have Jews here, Christians, Arabs. We have children from Gaza. During the war, while there was fighting every day, we had children from Gaza sitting next to religious Jews in class. It doesn’t matter. We love all the children here and want to keep their lives as normal as possible.”
Classes at Israel’s hospitals ramped up on the first day of September, just as they did at schools around the country. Classrooms, which are divided by age group, all have an Arab-speaking teacher and a Hebrew-speaking teacher, and several have special assistants like art therapists or volunteers doing their national service. Classes generally run from 8:45 a.m. until 2 p.m., as they do in schoolhouses throughout Israel, but students come and go depending on their treatment schedules and how they are feeling each day.

“They come and they learn, and we really get attached to them,” says Lila Yahiach, one of the teachers in the oncology unit. Yahiach is Muslim, and she shares her classroom with Yehudit Levy, a religious Jew, as well as a Jewish national service volunteer named Hodaya Toledanu (no relation to the patient). Yahiach speaks in Arabic to the Arabic-speaking students, Levy speaks in Hebrew to the Jewish students — but both insist they feel the same connection, and the same responsibility, for everyone in their classroom.



Shilat Levy, a five-year-old patient at Rambam, is
Jewish and from Haifa. (photo credit: Ofer Golan)

Asked if she believes the students inside of Rambam can sometimes learn more about the outside world than their peers in Jewish-only or Muslim-only schools in the region, Yahiach immediately says yes. “Some of the students come here, and they speak only Arabic, but, it’s like anywhere – they make friends,” she says. “So they also want to learn Hebrew. And they start to, so they can talk with each other. They are kids. Of course they want to talk to each other.”
The ratio of Jewish to Muslim students is always in flux, although hospital officials say it generally sits at an even split. This week, as the school year opens, there are four students from Gaza, all of them hospitalized full-time. Some of them have been at the hospital for years, living there with their families while they undergo intensive treatment. There are 12 students from the Palestinian Authority, including five from Jenin. In the past the hospital also housed a number of Syrian children who were brought across the border for treatment. (The Gaza and PA kids’ treatments are paid for by the Palestinian Authority and they come to the hospital as medical tourists. The education costs are covered by the hospital and the Education Ministry, which stipulates that all kids in Israeli hospitals get schooling regardless of where they live.)
One of those students from the West Bank, Muhammad, is 12 years old. He shares a classroom with Hodaya in the surgery department, and while Hodaya practices writing the Hebrew alphabet with her Hebrew-speaking teacher, he sits alongside his instructor, a Druze teacher named Amtaz Manfor, and together they practice reading and writing English.
“English is the language of the world,” Muhammad, who also wears a mask to protect himself from contamination in the classroom, says. “So I like learning it. And my teacher likes speaking it.”
Manfor, who wears the traditional white veil of Druze women, hugs Muhammad and laughs. “I do like English,” she says. “And he is a good student.”
Also in the classroom are two girls from Gaza, who are gluing multi-colored sequins onto pieces of white paper with Dima Chamra, a Christian Arab who is a trained art therapist.
“It’s stressful here,” she says in English before giving a direction to the girls in Arabic. “The art is really helpful for them. It gives them an outlet. Some of them are here for a very long time.”
Dr. Rafael Beyar, Rambam’s director general, says that inside of a hospital, there is no place for politics.
 “This is really a way for us to show that coexistence can happen,” he says of the classrooms in the pediatric wing. “We have Jewish and Muslim kids, Arab kids, kids from Gaza, kids with cancer, kids with kidney diseases, kids that stay here for a very long time. The hospital becomes their home. And whn you live together and you also learn together.”
Rambam has recently undergone a series of massive renovations and reconstructions, including the unveiling of a cutting-edge hybrid parking garage/underground hospital facility that is fully fortified. The shimmering Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital, a cheerful, light-filled new pediatric building, had its soft opening this summer. The children interviewed for this story are still being housed in the old building, but Beyar says that once all the pediatric cases have been moved to the new unit, classes will be larger and offer more chances for children from across the region to learn alongside each other and even become friends.
“A life is a life,” Beyar says. “It doesn’t matter where the patient comes from or what his religion or opinions are. We are care for patients, we educate the children who live here at the hospital, and we stay out of political arguments.”