Loving Your Enemy? Israeli Hospitals Treat Patients From Gaza, Syria and Iraq

Despite having zero diplomatic relations with Gaza, Syria and Iraq, Israeli hospitals treat patients from the Middle East, performing open-heart surgeries.

Aman, a Kurdish woman from northern Syria, whose real name cannot be disclosed for security reasons, came to israel to accompany her three-year-old child who had to undergo heart surgery.

“My son has a heart disorder, and after being diagnosed by one of the doctors in the refugee camp in northern Iraq, he told me that we had the option to come to israel for treatment. I embraced this opportunity immediately,” she said in a phone interview on Tuesday, stressing that she was not afraid of public opinion in her country.

“My child’s health is the most important thing for me, and I don’t care what people might say,” she added.

Israel has no diplomatic relations with either Syria or Iraq – deemed as enemy states – and yet cooperation exists. Shevet Achim, a Christian Zionist organisation – based in Jerusalem, established in 1994, does precisely that: it helps children from Gaza, Iraq and Syria come to Israeli hospitals for open-heart surgeries. 

Only this year, the country received some 80 children from Syria and Iraq. According to reports, between 2013 to 2018 Israel has placed some 4000 Syrian refugees – including minors – in Israeli hospitals. The move has been widely criticised with some saying that Israel treated militants disguised as refugees.

The Mission

“We believe that every child’s life should be saved. We are in…

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