May 12, 2019 — Askhkelon, Israel
American Jewish Committee (AJC), following a long tradition of offering support for Israel's emergency needs, made a donation today to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. AJC CEO David Harris presented a check to Barzilai CEO and Medical Director Dr. Chezy Levy for the purchase of x-ray equipment.
The AJC donation comes in the wake of the relentless assault a week ago by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which fired 700 rockets from Gaza into southern Israel. Barzilai, located in Ashkelon, is the main hospital in the country’s south, servicing Jews and Arabs alike, including, notably, patients from Gaza.
“The Jewish and Arab doctors and medical staff at Barzilai, only eight miles from the Gaza border, are literally on the front lines,” said Harris, who has visited the hospital during previous rocket attacks from Gaza. “I’ve personally witnessed the remarkably caring and compassionate treatment administered to all patients, even combatants from Gaza. It’s not something you’d necessarily see everywhere else in the world. You’ll see it in Israel.”
During the latest attack, the Barzilai Medical Center treated 150 people, three of whom died. A fourth Israeli was killed by a rocket that struck his home. Hospital administrators told AJC that rocket fragments littered the hospital grounds, and one rocket hit the roof of the oncology wing.
In 2014, during the last major confrontation between Hamas and Israel, AJC funds helped Barzilai purchase an anesthesia machine for its emergency room.
In 2012, during a Hamas escalation of firing rockets into Israel, an AJC grant enabled Barzilai to purchase a mobile x-ray apparatus and a plasma sterrad sterilizer.
And a large AJC delegation visited Barzilai Medical Center in 2009, during Operation Cast Lead, when Israel entered Gaza, four years after its total withdrawal from the coastal strip, in an effort to stop Hamas rockets attacks. Following that visit, AJC provided a grant to purchase emergency medical equipment for the hospital’s trauma center.