Monday, March 21, 2011
IDF, settlers save Arab baby
IDF Corporal Levin and Palestinian baby, Jude
Saving life after massacre: IDF troops, paramedics save life of Palestinian woman giving birth in settlement where Fogel relatives sitting Shiva. Soldier: It felt amazing to hold girl in my arms, know we did something good
After massacre, settlers help bring new life into world: IDF forces and local paramedics helped save the life of a Palestinian woman and her newly born infant Wednesday, at the settlement where Fogel relatives are sitting Shiva for the five Israelis brutally murdered last week.
Just as IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz arrived in Neve Tzuf to offer his condolences, a Palestinian cab raced towards the community's entrance. In it, soldiers and paramedics discovered a Palestinian woman in her 20s in advanced stages of labor and facing a life-threatening situation: The umbilical cord was wrapped around the young baby girl's neck, endangering both her and her mother.
The quick action of settler paramedics and IDF troops deployed in the area saved the mother's and baby's life, prompting great excitement and emotions at the site where residents are still mourning the brutal death of five local family members.
Corporal Haim Levin, 19, an IDF paramedic, was the first medical team member at the scene and recounted the dramatic situation he faced.
"When I arrived, I saw a woman covered by a blanket in a yellow Palestinian van. I moved closer and saw the baby's head and upper body," he told Ynet. "The umbilical cord was around the baby's neck; the baby was grey and didn't move."
"I first removed the cord from the neck and at the same time asked paramedics to prepare the baby resuscitation kit. I pinched her to see if she's responding, and she started to cry," he said. Paramedics also treated the mother, who was in good condition at that point, Levin said.
Paramedic: We treat everyone
Meanwhile, ambulance driver Orly Shlomo raced to the scene. "We joined the military paramedic and helped him cut off the umbilical cord…without the medical treatment, the fetus and woman faced genuine life danger," she told Ynet.
"It was touching, but I couldn't help but think that a few meters from there, people were sitting Shiva for another baby, who was murdered," she said. "I was touched to see the face of the new baby, but I also thought about the face of the murdered baby."
Gadi Amitun, who heads the Magen David Adom team at Neve Tzuf, said this was not the first time settlers assist Palestinians in distress.
"They know we have a skilled medical team here, and in any case of accident or injury they arrive and we help them," he said.
The paramedic noted that on the day of the Fogel massacre, settlers saw fireworks and celebrations in nearby Palestinian communities, but added that the local medical team is committed to assisting anyone in need.
"Two years ago, we also made sure to treat a terrorist who attempted to place a bomb on the road and was shot by soldiers," he said.
Palestinians from the nearby village of Nabi Salah gathered around the paramedics along with the new grandmother and could not hide their joy.
"They thanked us and told us they named the girl Jude," Corporal Levin said. "I volunteered for Magen David Adom since age 15 and it's the first time I witnessed childbirth. It was an amazing feeling, to hold the girl that was just born in my arms, and to know that in this complex place we did something good."