Israeli Doctors Treat Iraqi Children

[AP] Jamal Halaby - Israeli doctors screened 40 Iraqi children suffering from heart disease Tuesday at the Red Crescent hospital in Amman, Jordan. Dr. Zion Houri, director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, said he thought "ties and friendship" were being built through his work in Jordan. "Our only previous exchanges with the Iraqis are the Scud missiles," he said, referring to the missiles Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, fired on Israel during the 1991 Gulf War. One child screened Tuesday was 4-year-old Mustafa, who was diagnosed with crossed arteries and would need two surgeries in Israel soon. Mustafa's mother, Suzanne, said traveling to Israel made her "anxious. Not because I'm going to a country considered an enemy of Iraq, but because I'm afraid of retribution by Iraqi militants, by the terrorists back home...but I'm willing to take the risk to save my beloved son's life." "Israel is a good country. It's a country that has mercy on other people," she added. Abu Ahmed, 36, from Kirkuk, said his 12-year-old daughter, Basita, underwent a successful surgery in Israel last year. "They (Israelis) are not our enemies," he said. "They helped me a lot and didn't make me feel like they were enemies. Many Muslims have a wrong idea about Israelis." In four years, 35 Iraqis have received surgery in Israel through the program, sponsored by Save a Child's Heart, a humanitarian organization that has treated more than 1,700 children from 28 countries.

2007-10-10 01:00:00

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