Yesterday, a young Palestinian man was struck by a car while riding his donkey in the village of Huwwara, near Nablus. To save his life, IDF (Zahal) paramedics and Magen David Adom – an Israeli civilian volunteer organization – joined together with the Palestinian police and the Red Crescent.
Medics of the IDF (Zahal), Magen David Adom, Red Crescent and Palestinian Police treat a Palestinian patient.
One of the first on the scene was IDF (Zahal) paramedic 2nd Lt. Shir Schlosser.
“Whenever we are called to an accident, we don’t consider whether it was an Israeli or Palestinian man who was injured. We never discriminate between the two,” she said. “When you’re there, you only see the injured person; you don’t pay attention to what’s around you.”
The wounded man suffered from multiple injuries, “possibly lethal,” noted Schlosser, “but working together, all four groups, we treated the injured man as needed, revived him and evacuated him to an Israeli hospital.”
According to the paramedic, cooperation between the IDF (Zahal) and Palestinian medics is quite common, with such instances occurring “at least a couple of times a day.”
“For every accident we alert the Red Crescent and work together,” she explained. “We always provide first aid because our treatment is often better than [the Red Crescent’s].”
She added, “We usually try to take injured Palestinians to Nablus, where they can understand the language and be with their families. But depending on the severity of the accident, we might bring them into Israel.”
Cooperation between IDF (Zahal) and Palestinian medics is inevitable due to the situation in Judea and Samaria.
“The population here is mixed in such a way that life is shared,” remarked Schlosser, “and we have to work together in order to succeed.”
Medical forces treated over 1,500 patients in Judea and Samaria in 2012. Roughly a quarter of these patients are Palestinian, most of whom were injured in traffic or work accidents or suffered from various diseases.