Which didn’t keep this hospital from being a target of Hamas rockets.
“Fear of rockets sends Israeli hospital underground,” by Aron Heller for Associated Press, December 28 (thanks to Michael):
ASHKELON, Israel — The largest hospital on Israel’s southern coast has gone underground.
Wary of a missile strike against it from the nearby Gaza Strip, Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital has moved its most essential departments into an underground bomb shelter.
The threat is a real one: In February a rocket from Gaza landed adjacent to the hospital’s helicopter pad and in May a rocket crashed into a busy shopping mall in the city, injuring 14 people.
The hospital in this city of 120,000 people about 17 kilometers (11 miles) north of the Gaza border has sent half its patients home to get them out of harm’s way. Those remaining are jammed in rooms previously used for storage.
In Barzilai’s underground children’s ward, sick Gazans lay alongside sick Israelis as a clown hopped around trying to coax smiles. Lobel said that his facility had close ties with Gaza’s Shifa hospital, and accepted many of its patients who need treatment the Gazan hospital cannot provide. He said it wasn’t uncommon to have a colleague in Gaza call him for assistance even as rockets rained down on Ashkelon.
“It might seem completely absurd,” Lobel said. “But we have the privilege to be doctors. Our medical ethics do not distinguish between patients. We treat whoever needs to be treated.”
A Gaza woman, whose two-month-old granddaughter was being treated for an unidentified ailment, wept when asked how she was coping. She said she was fortunate her granddaughter was getting the best medical treatment but was worried about her daughter and other grandchildren in Gaza City. She said some of their neighbors were among the more than 280 people killed in the Israeli airstrikes.
“I am very sad and hurt,” she said, in Arabic. “We want peace, not war.”
She refused to identify herself or have her picture taken, for fear of retribution if her presence in Israel was discovered in Gaza.…