Being a civilian doctor in a country where there are many groups battling is in someways strange. You see, you have taken a vow to treat the sick, and you do so, even if the sick might be one of those who in another situation might be trying to kill you.

But doctors treat all who come: It goes with the territory. And sometimes in wars of longstanding hatred, it sometimes seems the only humanity is with those few Samaritans who, like the man in the Bible, went out of his way to treat the injured one, even though the injured one was from an enemy tribe.

So out of the Middle East, where too often we hear stories of war and hatred, comes this story: LINK

Barzilai Hospital in the southern Israel coastal city of Ashkelon has opened its doors to Palestinians wounded during ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip between the ruling Hamas terrorist organization and its rivals in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction.

More than 60 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded in Gaza over the past two weeks along. More than a dozen of them have found their way to Ashkelon to receive a level of treatment not available in Gaza.

The news story notes that to pass the border, patients must be approved by Israeli security, a move made necessary by a female patient who regularly got her medical care in Israel then tried to deliver a suicide bomb.

However, except for that necessary checking, the hospital does not check “”We don’t know if it’s Hamas or Fatah. We don’t know if they are civilian or armed forces. We just know they are injured,” said Ron Lobel, the medical director at Barzilai. “It’s something normal between hospitals.”

Just ordinary folks doing their daily jobs. Nope, no heroism here. Just an ordinary man caring for his brother.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines with her husband. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket and sometimes posts medial essays to Hey Doc’s Xanga site


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