A newborn son of Syrian refugees living in Cyprus recently underwent medical treatment in Israel for a severe heart defect.
Baby Usayed was taken to Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan to undergo an emergency operation, after receiving special permission from the authorities.
The diplomatic operation was the result of a cooperative effort between the Israeli embassy in Nicosia, the Cypriot Health Ministry and Cypriot and Israeli doctors.
The baby's father, Ahmad, said they were told that their son needed specialist treatment that could not be provided in Cyprus and so he and his child found themselves in a place he never imagined he would see.
"I don't care about the relations between Israel and Syria," he said. "My problem isn't political or religious, it's a health problem.
"My son's life is the most important thing in the world to me. I said right away I will go to Israel if needed, I will go anywhere."
The baby would not have survived more than a month without the surgery, said Prof. Alain Serraf, the head of Sheba's Congential Heart Center, who operated on the child.
Israel's envoy to Cyprus Sami Rabel prayed for Usayed's speedy recovery.
"Solidarity during the coronavirus epidemic and the special bond between Israel and Cyprus, granted the special permission for the baby to operated at Sheba Medical Center," he said.
Israeli medics have a long history of treating critically ill children from hostile countries.
The Save a Child's Heart non-profit organization, which is funded mostly by private donors with some contributions from governments, has performed surgery on nearly 5,000 children since it was started about two decades ago.
The NGO has treated more than 2,000 from the West Bank and Gaza and 300 from Iraq and Syria. The rest came from Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and throughout the Middle East.