Tensions Rising, Southern Israel’s Largest Hospital Prepares for Next War

July 9, 2015

2 min read

One year ago, on July 8, 2014, Israel’s defensive Gaza war, Operation Protective Edge began. During the 50 days of fighting, few across the country escaped the sound of blaring sirens urging citizens to run to their bomb shelters.

With the war taking place in Israel’s southern region, the entire Negev in particular was subjected to heavy barrages of rocket fire from Gaza. Soroka Medical Center, in Beer-Sheva, became the main treatment center for the injured and traumatized.

The second largest hospital in Israel and the only one in the Negev,  Soroka provides annually medical care to over one million residents in Israel’s south. During last summer’s war, their resources were stretched to their maximum capacity.

“Our staff worked around the clock to save lives,” recalled Orna Myara, Director of External Affairs and Friends of Soroka Medical Center, to Breaking Israel News.

“We are located on Israel’s southern front,” Myara noted. “This area is under constant threat and has a history of being hit with missile attacks.”

During Operation Protective Edge, while Israel’s Iron Dome defense system received praises from the Israeli population for the protection that it provided, Soroka gained its own nickname: “Israel’s Iron Dome for Health.”

According to recently released statistics by Israel’s Defense Ministry concerning injured IDF soldiers during the war, 322 IDF soldiers have been recognized as disabled war veterans from the fighting, with more than half considered seriously injured.

The IDF Rehabilitative Unit is playing a major role, alongside Soroka, in treating both physically and emotionally these soldiers.

With Hamas proudly reporting to Iranian television that new terror tunnels have been constructed into Israel and ISIS advancing towards Israel’s borders, Israel’s hospitals, especially in the south, are on constant high alert.

One of Soroka’s main new projects, for which they are seeking funding, is the enlargement of the facilities for the Emergency Medicine Department and the Trauma Unit.

Israelis sit and pray together inside a street shelter, in anticipation of the Code Red siren alerting of incoming rockets, in the Southern Israeli town of Nitzan, on the fourth day of Operation Protective Edge, July 11, 2014. As Code Red Sirens are sounded on and off throughout the southern cities, most people either stay at home, near a shelter, or leave for the North. (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Israelis sit and pray together inside a street shelter, in anticipation of the Code Red siren alerting of incoming rockets, in the Southern Israeli town of Nitzan, on the fourth day of Operation Protective Edge, July 11, 2014. (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Since learning of their vital role in Operation Protective Edge, LIBI USA, an organization that supports the IDF, has committed to donating funds to benefit the Soroka Medical Center.

With the continuous news reports reminding everyone that Israel’s enemies have not yet given up their pursuit of its destruction, LIBI has increased its efforts to raise additional, much needed funds for the benefit of Soroka.

“Soroka Medical Center was the safe landing ground for injured IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens during Operation Protective Edge,” shared Dr. John A.I. Grossman, LIBI USA Chairman, with Breaking Israel News. “We have an obligation to help Soroka treat their patients in the highest level possible.”

Myara related, “Our hospital always does its best to offer quality treatment to its patients. The 2014 summer military operation made it clearer than ever that we need additional funding to enable us to meet all challenges that the future will unfortunately bring in our unstable part of the world.”

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