Last Friday a combat engineering unit of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was stationed close to the village of Samoa in the Hebron area of Judea (in the southern half of the “West Bank”), securing traffic routes against terrorist attempts.
The Hebrew news outlet Ynet reported that the battalion was accompanied by its combat doctor, 29-year-old Lt. Michael Eckhaus. The doctor tells what happened next:
“We stood by the ambulance between the concrete blocks [which protect against car-ramming] ready for any emergency. At around 12 noon, a Palestinian vehicle carrying two women, a man and three children arrived at the checkpoint. The man asked in Hebrew – ‘Is there a doctor here? My wife is about to give birth.’ I glanced at the car and saw a woman in great pain, pale and exhausted – who was about to give birth. I examined her and immediately realized that we were in the final birthing stage. ”
As IDF soldiers secured the area, the doctor asked the husband to translate for his wife, who could not understand his Hebrew instructions: “Tell her that in a moment we will give birth to the baby and that she needs to push.”
“I put my hand in and immediately saw the baby’s head, but then I saw that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck in a dangerous way that could cause him to suffocate.
“I performed several maneuvers and I removed the umbilical cord from his neck. The baby boy came out safely, and a few seconds later I cut the umbilical cord. The whole story lasted between five and seven minutes.
“I had never had a field birth, and I did not imagine that the first time would be in this situation. It is clear to us that by virtue of our role here we are providing medical assistance to anyone who needs it.”
Since the dominant news regarding the IDF in international media is about conflict with the Palestinians, we knew you would enjoy this story, which actually reflects a large portion of the interactions between IDF soldiers and average Palestinians residents of Judea and Samaria. The vast majority of Palestinians just want a better life for their families, and therefore many would even prefer to live under direct, stable Israeli rule instead of under the Palestinian Authority.
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