By D. Bender
In a furious telephone call on Monday, the bereaved Israeli father of an IDF soldier who died in Gaza fighting castigated the director of a Tel Aviv hospital after hearing that the center had treated the daughter of a senior Hamas leader, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported.
“Why are we stupid?!” fumed Ofer Mendelowitz, whose 21-year-old son, Oz, died in fighting on July 20th, during a fierce battle in Gaza City’s Sajahiyah neighborhood during the summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
While “I am a strong humanist,” Mendelowitz said, he added that he was devastated when he heard about the Hamas’ leader’s daughter’s treatment, “the one who sent the terrorists who killed 67 of our fighters, including my son.”
Oz, a Sergeant in the Golani Brigade, left behind his parents and two brothers.
In one of several such known cases, Ichilov Hospital on Sunday acknowledged that it had recently provided medical treatment to a family member of Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, Israel’s NRG News reported.
The daughter of Gaza Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, was transferred to Israel for five days of medical treatment, after suffering severe stomach bleeding from previous routine treatment in a Gaza hospital, Israeli officials confirmed.
“We treat all those who need,” Ichilov CEO Prof. Gabi Barabash replied simply to Mendelowitz.Haniyeh’s daughter is one of 13 children. Hospital officials declined to offer details of her status or medical condition, saying only that “She is only one of more than a thousand patients from the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian territories, hospitalized each year for treatment here.”
“In Arabic, they just call it ‘ah’habilioּut,’ (pathetic stupidity)” continued Mendelowitz.
“It was equally possible to open the gates so they go to the beach; to Cyprus to receive treatment, but by us – at Ichilov?! Come on, Prof. Barabash, why are we so stupid? This is what’s going to make Haniyeh declare recognition of us, and make peace? It will not happen. Why are we such [fools]!?”
Barabash, stirred by the bereaved father’s rebuke, explained: “Unfortunately, I lost my political naivete. Once, 15 years ago, when we started our work with the Gaza Strip, we did so with a clear agenda. We said ‘we’ll open an avenue; a contact for peace; they will be ambassadors for us and tell what the Jews are doing for them.'”
Barabash continued, “Look, I’m not left nor right but our naivete and our inexplicable desire for peace in the face of what we see around us is part of this story, unfortunately. Now I understand that they are not thankful as we know how to be grateful for the things done for us.”
He continued: “Today, the matter is entirely different and entirely businesslike. Every day we get something like 60-70 Gazans for treatment. We don’t choose them and we do not know in advance who is coming. I learned that she (Haniyeh’s daughter) was here only after she arrived. She was sent like any other patient from Gaza – going through the Erez crossing and coming. And we charge the full fee for that.”
Prof. Barabash said that he was not required to decide whether to treat the daughter of a senior Hamas member.
“It is an established fact; we treat all those who need to be taken care of. This is not a question at all,” he told Mendelowitz.
“I’m sure you’ll agree with me. It was only a day later that we found out that she was Haniyeh’s daughter. I think even you, with the grief you bear, you would not send away a woman who needs treatment as she sits with you here in the hospital,” Barabash reasoned.
“I do not have an instinct for revenge,” he said, and concluded: “I want to see Haniyeh get up and admit that Ichilov doctors saved his daughter.”
“When it comes to personal problems, Hamas has no problem to approve of the injured receiving treatment in Israel, but when we set up field hospitals during the war in Gaza, Hamas refused to send the injured to them,” IDF Gen., Yoav “Pauly” Mordechai said angrily, in comment on the Ichilov Hospital story, according to NRG News.Meanwhile, as Mendelowitz expressed his grief and frustration, the Defense Ministry’s chief of civil coordination with the Palestinians expressed his own ire at the hypocrisy of Hamas denying Israeli medical care to Palestinians – while allowing themselves and family members that same world-class treatment.
Israel set up a field hospital to treat Gazans wounded in the fighting, but Hamas warned residents not to use the facility, and few arrived to make use of the medical services.