According to Israel’s detractors, it is a cruel and racist nation determined to oppress the Palestinian Arabs as much as possible. But medical officials last week published another piece of evidence that Israel is anything but what its detractors say.
Over the past year, 180,000 Arabs from the Palestinian-controlled territories were treated at Israeli hospitals.
Speaking during a conference on humanitarian medicine at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Gen. Nitzan Alon, commander of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division, said that during the first years of the recent Palestinian terrorist uprising, so few Palestinians were able to get to Israeli hospitals that a true humanitarian crisis loomed.
Prior to the so-called “intifada,” Palestinians had been able to easily drive themselves to Israeli hospitals. But as the terrorist attacks escalated, Israel had no choice but to clamp firm restrictions on travel between Israel-proper and the Palestinian-controlled areas.
“We could not practice medicine beyond the minimum,” said Gen. Alon. “In those days, we were on the verge of a humanitarian crisis.”
But with medical cooperation improving and the IDF successfully heading off most remaining terrorist threats, Israel has been able to significantly increase the number of Palestinians it helps.