After a car struck a Palestinian boy, an IDF medical team sprang into action and saved his life. This incident is one of many cases in which the team has saved the lives of local Palestinian residents.
An IDF emergency medical team rescued a Palestinian boy yesterday (December 18), answering an urgent call for help following a car accident. The boy arrived with his mother at the team’s base in the Jordan Valley region. On a daily basis, the Israeli team offers support to Palestinians in urgent need of medical care.
“We all rushed to the scene, arriving at the entrance to the base to find a 10-year-old Palestinian boy. His head was cut open as a result of being struck by a car,” said Lieutenant Moran Gershoni, an IDF Medical Officer who arrived as part of the team. “We’re always on alert for an emergency, arriving together with ambulances and an emergency squad [of soldiers].”
The team, finding the boy in a severe condition, quickly brought him into a military ambulance. According to Lt. Gershoni, a Druze soldier spoke to the boy in Arabic, allowing the team to communicate effectively while providing the necessary treatment. “Inside of the vehicle, a paramedic and two medics began treating the boy,” Lt. Gershoni continued. The team also treated the boy’s mother, who suffered from shock after the accident. “She came into our ambulance and we calmed her down.”
Realizing that the boy needed urgent hospital care, the forces alerted members of the IDF’s elite Airborne Rescue and Evacuation Unit 669, who arrived at the scene in a helicopter.
“I helped the helicopter land, and a medical team emptied out of the vehicle,” Lt. Gershoni explained. “Combined forces from 669 and the medical team treated the boy in the ambulance. When the 669 forces determined that he was ready to be evacuated, we brought him into the helicopter.” The forces took the boy to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, where a civilian medical team provided expert treatment after his condition stabilized.
Always on alert to treat Palestinians
Lt. Gershoni’s medical team frequently encounters emergencies, and is always prepared to treat Palestinians who arrive at the team’s base. “We have three checkpoints in the Jordan Valley, and at all three there are points where we work with Palestinians. The entrance [of our checkpoint] is like a clinic. All sorts of people arrive – women giving birth and people with injuries, for example. It happens on a weekly basis.”
The medical team is part of an IDF brigade that oversees a large area in the Jordan Valley, including 27 Palestinian communities. “The majority of our work is with Palestinians,” Lt. Gershoni says. “There are more Palestinian patients than Jews.”
Despite the extreme risks it faces every day, the team dutifully continues its work. “This sector is dangerous, both with respect to the population in Judea and Samaria, and also because it’s close to the Syrian border. From an operational standpoint, we are in constant danger.”
In the past ten months alone, the team has treated nearly 500 patients. “The medical team provides quality care to anyone who is wounded or sick. This is our work constantly, and the incident [involving the Palestinian boy] was not unusual. We give injured victims the best care possible – no matter a person’s religion, race or gender.”
Israeli medical teams are often called on to provide lifesaving medical treatment to Palestinians. You can read more about moving stories like this one on the IDF Blog:
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— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) December 19, 2013