Monday, 24 December 2007
Doctors unite for Bethlehem hospital
Dr. Scott Harrison and Sally Harrison of CURE International are watched by kids
as they plant olive tree at site of Bethlehem hospital
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, December 24th 2007
BY MATTHEW KALMAN
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS
BETHLEHEM - On the spot where the Gospel says an angel told the
shepherds that Christ was born, a new hospital is planned for the
A $16.5 million, state-of-the-art hospital funded by the Christian
charity CURE International will rise on an abandoned Israeli military
base, bringing together Christian, Muslim and Jewish doctors to treat
"The Bethlehem hospital is unique in that it is bringing together
three faith groups to build a facility of healing in a very volatile
region," said CURE founder Dr. Scott Harrison at a groundbreaking
ceremony last week.
"Christians and Muslims will serve together at the hospital and will
receive additional training at some of the leading hospitals in
Jerusalem," he said.
The hospital, which will replace an army base in Shepherds' Field,
should be ready to open in two years.
It will be the 12th medical facility established by CURE, which has
treated more than 50,000 children around the world from Afghanistan to
Zambia. It also will be the first dedicated children's hospital in the
Palestinian territories. CURE will train local doctors in complex
surgery and treat up to 10,000 children every year.
"We've come to Bethlehem because we're aware of the enormous need that
children here have and the great difficulty they have in getting
medical care," said Harrison.
The new facility is a symbol of hope in a region where religious
differences have often resulted in warfare, and comes as the White
House tried to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process with
meetings in Annapolis, Md., and Paris.
"It is appropriate that after the Annapolis Accord and after the
meetings in Europe just a few days ago that we're bringing together
the Jewish community, the Arab community and the international
community," said Harrison. "We're working together now on a very
concrete example of what the international leaders have been trying to
Salah Al Tamari, the governor of Bethlehem, said the new hospital will
unite Palestinians of all faiths.
"The CURE hospital will be well received by all people," said Al
Tamari. "In Bethlehem, we set the example for co-existence. Bethlehem
is not just a holy place. It is a message - a message of peace,
tolerance, freedom and acceptance of all people."