An infant born to a Syrian couple living in Cyprus was flown to Israel to undergo an emergency procedure to correct a severe congenital heart defect.
The infant, a boy, was flown to Israel via air ambulance after the complex operation was expedited by the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia, the Cypriot Health Ministry and Israeli and Cypriot doctors.
Israel’s Ambassador to Cyprus, Sammy Revel, told Israel Hayom: “The Syrian baby was born with a rare heart defect. The Cypriot Health Ministry turned to us, and we received all the necessary permits from the authorities in Israel. On Thursday [the baby] was urgently flown via air ambulance to Israel, and was immediately transferred to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. He is supposed to undergo life-saving surgery there. This is an expression of solidarity, to save the life of a baby is always the right thing to do.”
In January 2018, Israeli doctors helped save a three-day-old Syrian baby who was also flown in from Cyprus.
Israel has treated thousands of sick and wounded Syrians throughout the country’s long-running civil war.
In 2016, the Israel Defense Forces launched a humanitarian aid program dubbed “Operation Good Neighbor” to “provide humanitarian aid to as many people as possible while maintaining Israel’s policy of non-involvement in the [Syrian] conflict,” according to the IDF’s official website.