Israel’s Medical Aid for Gazans During Operation “Protective Edge”, the IDF set up a field hospital at Erez border terminal for injured Palestinians. Commander of the hospital and IAF representative talk about the hospital’s advanced capabilities, the fears of the patients and one little boy

David Greenwald

At the 13th day of operation “Protective Edge”, the IDF has established a field hospital at Erez border terminal designated to aid the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The hospital, which was built quickly by the Medical Corps, gave a variety of treatments to many injured women, men and children.
The medical personnel consisted of 20 medics, paramedics and doctors from all IDF corps, including the IAF.

“I arrived at the hospital and waited with the rest of the crew to Gazans in need of medical treatment”, said Lieutenant Ido, a paramedic at the Air Defense School clinic. “When they first got here, they had many concerns, but as time passed, they started to trust us and realize we only want to help them. We provided dedicated treatment to each patient, regardless of who he is. When an injured person arrives at our doorstep, he’s not the enemy anymore, and he gets the best possible treatment within our capabilities”.

“We had pure intentions”

The Erez field hospital is not inferior in quality from other hospitals. The medical staff was prepared to handle hundreds of injured and its advanced medical equipment provided aid in the fields of Internal Medicine, gynecology, resuscitation and delivery room. Even so, the hospital was never in full capacity.
“The place looks like a hospital and had the capabilities of a hospital. Unfortunately, we treat dozens of people while we were able to treat hundreds”, says Lieutenant Colonel Racheli Meizan, head nursing officer of the Medical Corps and commander of the hospital during the operation. “At first, we only had few patients. Later they began to realize we had pure intentions and agreed to receive our treatment. At the end, they smiled and even blessed us”.
Hamas Terrorists preventing injured Gazans to arrive at the hospital and even fired Mortar rockets towards it.
“No damage was caused to the protected building or the treatments routine. Despite the fire, we understood that the citizens of Gaza are not our enemies and we worked with the highest Medical Corps standards”.

Heart-warming stories
This is not the first IDF humanitarian assistance: during the last years, IDF’s Medical Corps sent aid troops to Japan and Haiti and during the last two decades, troops were sent to India, Macedonia, Rwanda, Armenia and Turkey.
Both Lieutenant Ido and Lieutenant Colonel Meizan agree that each mission has its own everlasting memories and heart-warming stories.
A few of those took place here, in the Erez field hospital, but they both remember one story particularly.
“A 7 years old boy arrived to the hospital in pain”, recalls Lieutenant Ido. “The blood tests revealed that he has cancer, a terrible yet life-saving diagnosis. He was transferred to the “Sheba” hospital in Israel and I hope he gets better. Those missions were made for situations like this. People like him would not survive if it wasn’t for us and I’m glad we can be there for them”.