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One Year after Operation Protective Edge, Soroka Hospital Receives New Fortified Operating Rooms

From the time the sirens sounded in 2007 with Operation Cast Lead, and again in 2012 with Operation Pillar of Defense, and last summer with Operation Protective Edge, the Soroka Medical Center had to shutter 8 of its operating rooms; they were unfortified and vulnerable to rocket attacks. Since then the Medical Center’s urgent need for fortified operating rooms that would meet the IDF’s Home Front Command guidelines and allow for surgeries during combat became increasingly apparent. 

Today, 2 fortified operating rooms, built with the support of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the Moskowitz Foundation, Levin Foundation, the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galil, and Clalit Health Services, and at a total cost of $7 million USD, were dedicated at Soroka.

The ceremony was attended by: Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President of the IFCJ; Gadi Yarkoni, Head of the Eshkol Regional Council (Yarkoni hmself underwent surgery at in Soroka after being injured in a mortar bomb attack during Operation Protective Edge), senior Soroka staff and medical professionals, among other invited guests.

The new operating rooms adhere to the highest standards of security and technology and will allow Soroka to intake more surgical patients and wounded during Israel’s times of combat and peace.

Each year, more than 33,000 surgeries take place at Soroka, the highest among Israel’s public hospitals. Dr. Michael Semionov and Director of Nursing Rikki Beiner head Soroka’s surgery network.

Dr. Ehud Davidson, Director of Soroka Hospital: “Just like in every round of fighting in the South, in Operation Protective Edge the Soroka Medical Center stood at the front in the treatment of the wounded. One hundred and forty operations of wounded soldiers, performed by surgeons in different fields, took place in Soroka’s operating rooms. A large number of these operations were extremely complex and the staff worked with absolute devotion, all this while also providing care to residents of the South who needed operations during the days of the battles.”

Dr. Davidson added “I want to thank the valued donors for their generous contributions which made it possible for us to build two new operating rooms. We intend to establish 4 additional fortified operating rooms in a designated site, and with this we will complete our network of 14 fortified operating rooms, so that we will not need to close operating rooms that are not fortified.”

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President of the IFCJ remarked: “The IFCJ is proud to be a key partner in improving the health services available for Israel’s Southern residents. One year ago today, during Operation Protective Edge, I was in the Negev and saw firsthand how every shekel that we donated to the hospital translated into lives saved—both among Israel’s military and civilian populations.  Our donation is made possible thanks to the generous hearts of more than a million and a half donors throughout the world who seek to strengthen the State of Israel and its people.”

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In the United States:
American Friends of
Soroka Medical Center
Rachel Heisler Sheinfeld
PO Box 184-H
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Telephone: 914725-9070
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