'If we can help, we will' (illustration)
Photo: Visual Photos
Iranian boy to undergo surgery in Israel
Interior Ministry, Shin Bet grant unusual plea by Tehran family to have son suffering form brain cancer treated in Jewish state. 'When a child's life is at stake religion and origin play no part,' says Minister Sheetrit

A 12-year-old Iranian boy suffering from brain cancer is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Friday for emergency surgery.


The boy, who already underwent surgery in Tehran, was later admitted to a Turkish hospital, but his Ankara physicians soon discovered their facility lacked the technological and medical expertise needed to properly treat him.


The Turkish doctors suggested the family seek medical assistance in Israel, and so they did, through Israeli liaison Jacob Levin.


"I contacted and met with Dr. Feldman and Prof. Shapira from (the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at) Tel Hashomer, and after they looked over the case file they agreed to treat the boy if we could secure his arrival to Israel," Levin told Yedioth Ahronoth.


"Once I had their consent, I contacted all the relevant government bureaus, so we would be given permission to fly him in," he added.


The complex feat required a personal ex-gratia authorization from Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, since the boy is Iranian and citizens of an enemy state are banned from entering Israel.


Sheetrit granted the request and forwarded it for the immediate review of the Shin Bet, ordering expedited proceeding be taken due to the boy's grave medical condition. The Shin Bet granted the request, saying the boy and his parents could stay in Israel – for two weeks at this point.


"We are the light upon the nations, and when a child's life is at stake religion and origin play no part," said Minister Sheetrit. "If we can help, we are more than willing to do so."


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