More Iraqi children brought to Israel for heart surgery

Thursday, October 11, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli doctors screened some 40 Iraqi children suffering from heart disease at a Jordanian hospital in Amman on Tuesday to determine which ones they could successfully transport to the Jewish state and treat.

The Israeli doctors participating in the effort told The Associated Press that they see their work making a political difference, as well as physically helping the individual children.

A mother of one of the children examined on Tuesday confirmed that view.

"Israel is a good country. It's a country that has mercy on other people," said Suzanne, who refused to give her last name for fear of retribution from Islamic militants back in Iraq who reject Israel's existence.

It was not the first time Iraqi and Arab children from other parts of the Middle East were examined and treated by Israeli doctors.

The Israeli humanitarian organization Save a Child's Heart (SACH) has since 1996 brought more than 1,700 children from 28 countries to Israel for life-saving heart surgery. More than half of the patients have been Palestinians, Jordanians and Iraqis.

SACH is supported logistically by the Christian organization Shevet Achim.

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