A Magen David Adom ambulance transferred an eight-day-old Palestinian baby from Gaza to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer Sunday evening.
This humanitarian act took place during one of the more difficult days in terms of Qassam launchings, during which a 36-year-old Oshri Oz was killed in Sderot
The baby suffers from a congenital heart defect and without proper treatment will not survive long. He was transferred to the Erez crossing, where an MDA ambulance was waiting to transfer him to hospital ventilated and in an incubator.
"We transfer patients from the Gaza Strip under fire on a daily basis," said Moshe Vaknin, deputy manager of Lachish region of MDA. "Last week, our medics continued to treat a patient while shells were fired at the terminal at Erez. During the Shavuot holiday we evacuated another baby in an incubator, endangering our staff."
The baby is now hospitalized at the intensive care department at the Safra Children's Hospital at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.
Dr Dudi Mishali, head of the Department of Pediatric & Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery at the hospital, said: "The baby has a complete occlusion of his aorta. This is a severe defect, and if the child is not operated on as soon as possible he could die within a day.
'He will probably be operated on tomorrow (Monday) and the prognosis is good. He is currently on medication that is keeping him alive," he added.
Dr Mishali said that an average of three Palestinian babies with heart defects arrive at his department every week: "We have daily communications by phone and fax with doctors in Gaza. There is no heart surgeon in the Strip, so they transfer all of these children, and there are many, to be operated on here."
The Palestinian Authority usually covers half of the expenses and the rest is generally covered by donations raised by the hospital.
"Our treatment has not changed over the last few days. This cooperation has survived difficult times of terrorism and bombings," Mishali said and stressed that politics always stay outside the operating theater.