As of 2013, Syria's 2-year civil war has killed more than 110,000 people and forced as many as 2 million to flee the country, many of whom are injured. A small number of those badly wounded are seeking help in the land of their enemy – Israel.
Some 150 Syrians suffering from cold and pain have mysteriously crossed the border into enemy territory for life-saving medical treatment in an Israeli hospital near the Lebanese border. The hospital has taken in about 70 wounded Syrians (at the time of this report) across the 54 mile border between Israel and Syria. Only the Israeli army knows how they are crossing, and the army will not tell how. The hospital simply receives a call from the army that they are bringing in wounded Syrians.
The Syrians have typical war injuries, including shrapnel and bullet wounds, blast injuries, and burns. Most of the injured are men, but 8 children as young as age 3 have come to be treated.
Dr. Masad Barhoum, a Christian Arab, is the Director General of Western Galilee Hospital. He reports that these Syrians probably would have died without the Israeli care. Many are afraid when they wake up in an enemy’s country, unable to understand the language. Fortunately, about half of the hospital staff speak Arabic. That, and the love they are shown, helps the Syrians calm down.
When the patients are well enough, the Israeli army returns them to the border. Even though the number is small, Dr. Barhoum and his staff say they are grateful for the opportunity to help the suffering Syrians. (Chris Mitchell reporting from Israel, Ugarit News, CBN News, September 16, 2013)