Last week the PLO Central Council decided to end security co-operation with Israel. Here are some of the enormous benefits received in the past year that Palestinian Arabs will be missing out on.
By: Michael Ordman
Without security cooperation, it would have been extremely dangerous for the IDF medical personnel on routine patrol in Hebron in November to perform CPR to save an unconscious Palestinian Arab youth with no pulse, due to having accidentally electrocuted himself. Or the other IDF medics to treat 20 Palestinian Arabs who were injured in April when their mini-bus crashed into a car. Or to rescue 4 Palestinian Arabs, whose speeding vehicle flipped over and fell into a wadi in March. And then to evacuate the severely injured and a two-year-old child by helicopter to hospital. It is highly unlikely that Magen David Adom and IDF paramedics would be on hand to resuscitate a six-month-old Palestinian Arab baby after he suffered a heart attack on the way to Jordan. No more scenes of delight as on his parents’ faces at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital.
Without security cooperation, how could doctors at Haifa’s Rambam hospital in February deliver twins to a Gaza woman with a severe blood clot disorder and then deliver a baby to a Gaza mother in a critical condition due to Rh incompatibility and then fix the baby’s congenital heart condition? How could surgeons at the same hospital in September perform a unique kidney transplant on a 14-year-old boy from Gaza? I’m sure that the wife of PA president Mahmoud Abbas and the mother-in-law and granddaughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniya would have complained if their operations in Israel last year had been cancelled due to lack of security co-operation.
During Operation Protective Edge, Israel demonstrated time after time that ordinary Gazans are not its enemies. During the fighting, the IDF set up a field hospital including a delivery room at the Erez border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Those that were prevented by Hamas from travelling to Israel for treatment were evacuated by Magen David Adom to Turkey. But around 100 Gazans were brought for treatment to Israeli hospitals every month.
Although her hometown Ashdod was under constant missile attack from Gaza, Irena Nosel, pediatric ICU head nurse for Israel’s Save A Child’s Heart (SACH), cared for critically ill Gazan children at Israel’s Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. Whilst the three murdered Israeli teenagers were still missing, SACH doctors saved five Palestinian Arab children, plus four-year-old Muath from Hebron who was born with the same congenital heart disease that killed two of his brothers previously. Not only did SACH save the brother of
Palestinian Arab anesthesiologist Wafiq Othman, but they then trained Wafiq, who subsequently returned home to co-ordinate the training of Arab doctors.
Without security co-operation, how can Dr. Yitz Glick, an orthodox Jew from Efrat in Judea, make his weekly personal house calls to Wadi Nis, providing medical treatment free of charge to Palestinian Arab patients? How can the Efrat Emergency Medical Center that Dr Glick founded in 2000, continue to treat PA residents? Will Israel continue to comply with PA requests for medical equipment, such as screening tools for diagnosing the Ebola virus among Arabs entering via Jordan into PA-controlled towns? Will Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center physicians continue to perform complex cardiac surgeries on Palestinian Arab children and train Palestinian Arab physicians?
Without security co-operation, we will see an end to the measurable improvements that Israeli policy has made to Palestinian health and welfare in terms of higher life expectancy, lower mortality (infant, maternal, perinatal), better immunization coverage, nutrition etc. etc. etc. Facts that even the Arab media has been publicizing.
Without security co-operation, how will Israel continue to ensure the weekly supply of thousands of tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza? Even during the summer conflict, the Israel Electric Company transferred 10 generators to hospitals in Gaza. The PA will have to hope they can do without Israeli help in clearing snow blocking roads to Ramallah, or dealing with flooding in Tulkarem and in Gaza, or help alleviating the subsequent water crisis.
Without security co-operation, how can Israel continue to support the construction and growth of the new PA city of Rawabi which is installing Israeli wastewater treatment systems and planting JNF trees? Will Israel continue every year to fund 1200 Palestinian Arab farmers to study in Israel and upgrade their facilities?
Do you expect Israel to facilitate the establishment of new industry in Gaza as it did with the new Coca Cola plant last year? If you had any doubts, just see what happened to SodaStream – called by its Palestinian Arab employees as “the greatest company” where “you wouldn’t get treated like this anywhere in the Arab world”. Despite the workers’ cries of “don’t boycott us”, it closed down thanks to the PA and its crazy BDS allies. Such a pity, as a survey conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, funded by the European Union, showed that Palestinian Arabs who work in Israel or for Israelis in Judea and Samaria are paid more than double the wage of those employed by the Palestinian Authority and triple those working in Gaza.
So goodbye to projects like the joint team to promote community preparedness and emergency response. And the religious Jews of Beitar Illit will probably stop visiting the nearby Palestinian Arab town of Husan where they have been shopping and receiving services from for years (to the benefit of both communities). And who would risk organizing the travel of hundreds of Palestinian Arab kids to attend Shimon Peres’ Twinned Peace Soccer Schools which build friendships between Jews and Arabs? Or joint teams such as the wheelchair basketball team, comprising disabled athletes aged 15 to 25 from the PA town of Beit Jala and from Israel’s Ramat Gan.
Here are the links to two video clips of examples from last year that show Palestinian children getting on extremely well with IDF soldiers. You may be amazed to see them, and you won’t see any more once the PA stops security co-operation with Israel.
What the Arabs Say Themselves
You don’t have to take my word about any of these facts. The Arab media praises Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian Arab workers. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida commended Israeli employers for much higher wages, job security and other benefits. In Judea and Samaria 15,000 Palestinian Arabs work side by side with Israelis.
Finally, in a debate on the Al-Jazeera’s Arabic service, the presenter and a guest question an Assad supporter as to why the Syrian army, Hezbollah and other Islamic military groups cannot be more humane like the Israeli army.
What the PA leadership really needs – is to see sense!
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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