Israeli Surgeons Repair Young Palestinian Hearts
- Allyn Fisher-Ilan (Reuters/Malaysia Star)
Hala Ketnani, a 10-month-old girl from Gaza, sleeps
beneath an oxygen hood in an Israeli intensive care unit as
she recovers from heart surgery.
Under the private Israeli program "Save a Child's
Heart," doctors at Wolfson Hospital near Tel Aviv repair
congenital heart defects for children like Ketnani from the
Palestinian territories, Iraq, Jordan, and Africa.
More than 1,000 children, about half from Gaza and the
West Bank, have been helped so far.
Shlomo Dror, an Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman, said
about 1,000 Palestinians per month receive medical treatment
in Israel, up from 600 in recent years.
Palestinian Prime Minister Vows Not to Recognize Israel
Making his first visit abroad since the militant group took power in March, Haniyeh blasted U.S. demands that Hamas recognize Israel as a basis for renewed peace talks and before international aid to the Palestinians resumes.
The U.S. "and Zionists ... want us to recognize the usurpation of the Palestinian lands and stop jihad and resistance and accept the agreements reached with the Zionist enemies in the past," Haniyeh told worshippers at Tehran University.
The United States is pressing the Palestinian government to not only recognize Israel, but to renounce violence and form a national unity government with the moderate Fatah party.
"I'm insisting from this podium that these issues won't materialize. We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem," he said.
Ahmed Abdel Rahman, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party, said if Hamas wants to be part of a national unity government, it will need to abide by agreements the PLO has signed in the past. This would imply recognition of Israel.
"I can't criticize him (Haniyeh) when he is talking in the name of Hamas. But if he is speaking as prime minister, he should abide by the national agenda," Abdel Rahman said.
Since Hamas took power in March, direct international aid to the Palestinian government has been largely cut off. Iran has provided the government with $120 million this year, boosting its influence among Palestinians.
Haniyeh arrived in the Iranian capital Thursday for four days of talks with Iranian leaders including hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."...