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Jewish Journal

Israeli military doctor saves Palestinian baby brought to base

by Marcy Oster, JTA

April 23, 2012 | 2:14 pm

An Israeli military doctor saved a 12-day-old Palestinian baby girl who had stopped breathing.

Lt. Michael Findler, 28, the lone doctor at the Halamish military base near Ramallah in the West Bank, resuscitated the baby with CPR. Following an exam, the baby was taken by Palestinian ambulance to a hospital in Ramallah. The mother had brought the infant to the gates of the base at 3 a.m. Monday seeking help.

It was the seventh time since Findler arrived at the base two months ago that he had provided emergency services to Palestinians from area villages, and third in the past two weeks, he told JTA. Last week he cared for a 4-year-old Palestinian girl that he diagnosed with meningitis, as well as a young woman with intracranial bleeding. He also delivered a Palestinian baby in his clinic.

All of the outcomes have been good so far, he said, adding that it can sometimes be difficult to find out what happened to his patients after they are taken away by a Palestinian ambulance.

Findler said it is “very common” for Palestinians to come to the base seeking medical care.

“The Palestinians know that in our base they get the emergency medical treatment they need,” he said.

The base is located near the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, which is the site of weekly protests by local residents and activists against the West Bank settlement of Halamish, which locals say has taken over their land. Findler says he has cared for Palestinians injured during the often violent demonstrations.

He sees so many Palestinian cases at Halamish, Findler says, because PA ambulances have a difficult time reaching the villages and they do not have paramedics on board when they arrive.

“In our area we are the most capable medical clinic,” he said.

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