US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Ratney said Monday he was “astounded” by Israel’s humanitarian treatment of Syrians wounded in that country’s six-year-old civil war and said the medical treatment the refugees have received at Ziv Medical Center in Tzfas has been an illustration of “Israeli compassion and competence.”
Speaking while leading a delegation of U.S. officials on a tour of Israel’s northern borders with Lebanon and Syria before ending the day in Tzfas, Ratney said he would “leave Ziv hospital (Medical Center) with a profound appreciation for the heroic work you are doing treating Syrians wounded in their civil war.”
Aside from Ratney, a fluent Arabic speaker who served as the United States Consul General in Yerushalayim from 2012 to 2015 and who is now the the US Special Envoy for Syria; Dr. Scott B. Lasensky, a senior fellow at The Institute for National Security Studies and a senior advisor on Israel, Syria and Middle East affairs in the Obama administration, as well as senior IDF officers.
Like Ratney, Lasensky praised the hospital for showing dedication and compassion to refugees and fighters alike, both in Israel and abroad.
Over the past four-and-a-half years Israeli medical teams have treated more than 1,100 Syrian civilians who were wounded in the fighting. Spokespeople for Ziv Medical Center said the average stay for a Syrian patient is far longer than an Israeli one. The statement also said that the hospital has built a holistic framework to treat Syrian patients, including Arabic-speaking social workers, teachers and rehabilitation professionals and more.