Ground Report: A Call for Help from an Israeli Hospital
In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, a glimmer of humanity shines through at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, Israel. This hospital, located in the war-torn southern region of the country, has become a beacon of hope and resilience. As the conflict with Hamas militants rages on, volunteers gather in the hospital's parking lot, providing not only food and water but also much-needed comfort and solace to those affected by the ongoing crisis.
The Barzilai Medical Center stands as one of the two major hospitals in southern Israel, a region besieged by violence and turmoil. Ambulances race into the hospital's parking area, sirens blaring at deafening volumes, carrying wounded Israelis caught in the crossfire of this intense conflict. Paramedics, working tirelessly around the clock, rush to attend to the injured, placing them on stretchers and whisking them away to the emergency department.
Our dedicated news team, on the ground in war-ravaged Israel, reached out to those at the Barzilai Medical Center to better understand the challenges they face and the resilience they display.
The two major hospitals in southern Israel, Barzilai in Ashkelon and Soroka in Be'er Sheva, have collectively received over 2,000 wounded individuals since the start of this devastating conflict. The sheer volume of patients has overwhelmed these hospitals, leading to the transfer of hundreds to central hospitals in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Avishag Avinoam, a volunteer at the hospital, expressed the overwhelming nature of the situation, saying, "We are handling a lot of wounded, something that Israel has never experienced before. Not only were we unprepared for something like this, they (Hamas) caught us by surprise."
The volunteers who tirelessly support the hospital are primarily young people who found themselves trapped in southern Israel due to the ongoing war. El Friedman and Zayala Brown, both volunteers at Barzilai, share the sense of dread and uncertainty that has gripped the nation. "We could not leave our houses. Then we started to receive news of our friends being reported missing," El Friedman said, her voice filled with concern. Zayala Brown added, "Everyone in the country is looking for their friends and family. We do not have enough information on whether they were taken to Gaza by Hamas militants or they are in hiding."
Heartbreak and anguish ripple through the nation as families anxiously await news of their loved ones. The conflict has taken a toll on countless lives, leaving no corner of Israel untouched by its devastating impact.
In a heartbreaking development, Sheeja Anand, a nurse from Kerala working in Israel, was injured during the attack by Hamas. She was in the middle of a video call with her husband in India when the unthinkable happened. Sheeja's family was initially relieved when they heard she was safe, but their relief was short-lived as they learned of her injuries and the need for spinal surgery. Her husband and children in India anxiously await her recovery, while Sheeja fights to heal in a foreign land.
The situation in Israel remains dire, with over 1,100 lives lost in the ongoing conflict. Both Israelis and Palestinians suffer the consequences of this devastating war. As Israel launches a counteroffensive to address the threat posed by Hamas, the world watches with bated breath, hoping for an end to the violence and a return to peace.
In these challenging times, the resilience of the people of Israel shines through. They stand united, offering support and assistance to those in need, even as they navigate the uncertainties of war.