Palestinian woman grateful to IDF soldiers who delivered her baby

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

A young Palestinian Arab woman on Tuesday said she was grateful to Israeli soldiers who a day earlier delivered her baby in an army ambulance and then saved the infant’s life when he had trouble breathing.

Shirin Muhammad Salamin, 27, told Israel’s Ynet news portal that she went into labor late Monday evening. But because the family lives in an isolated hilltop near Jericho, and because it was raining heavily in the area, ambulances sent by both the Palestinian Red Crescent and the nearby Israeli army checkpoint were unable to reach her.

Salamin’s family eventually brought her down to the main road and put her in the Israeli army ambulance. En route to the checkpoint, the soldiers delivered her baby boy.

“I was alone inside the army’s ambulance…and I was scared,” said Salamin. “But the soldiers reassured me throughout the ride. …When he came out, [the soldiers] smiled at me and him and asked me to talk to him in order to calm him down.”

The IDF medic later had to resuscitate the baby after he had trouble breathing. Both mother and child were airlifted in an Air Force helicopter to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, where both are healthy and recovering.

“I would like to thank the soldiers who greatly helped me and wish them health,” said Salamin from the hospital’s maternity ward.

Sergeant Gilad Nesher, the IDF medic who delivered the baby, said there was “great satisfaction in giving life.”

The entire episode again debunks the picture painted by the international media and Israel’s other critics that makes Israeli soldiers out to be blood-thirsty monsters who only want to kill Palestinians.

Photo is an illustration, and is NOT of the mother and child reported on here

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