A ten-year-old Iraqi girl will arrive in Israel in the coming week in order to undergo a complicated heart surgery in one of the country's hospitals.
The operation is an initiative by the Save a Child's Heart organization, which allows children from underdeveloped countries to receive treatment in countries that can offer better medical services.
The organization submitted the exceptional application for a visa to the Israeli Ministry of Interior last week. Iraqi citizens are ordinarily not granted entry visas to Israel, but in light of the nature and urgency of the situation, the application was directly relayed to the head of the population registry department in the ministry, Sassi Katzir, who decided to allow the girl to enter the country.
'Life of child outweighs political considerations'
The girl is expected to arrive in Israel with her father through the Allenby border crossing in Jordan.
The Ministry of Interior recently relaxed the criteria for visa-granting to Iraqi citizens, in special circumstances.
"We have no intention of reexamining the definition of 'enemy states,' whose citizens are banned from entering Israel," a source in the ministry clarified. "But in Iraq's case we are willing to handle special, humanitarian cases."
Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz said Wednesday that "the life of a child outweighs any political, diplomatic or bureaucratic considerations. This is a humane gesture."