A hospital that came under rocket attack from Hezbollah has opened a new 107-bed emergency room designed to withstand atomic, chemical and biological warfare as well as earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Bnai Zion Medical Center, in Haifa, northern Israel, was hit by a rocket that narrowly missed its fuel storage facility during the Second Lebanon War, in 2006.
“It is inevitable that the next round of combat will occur, and we must be prepared for every scenario and provide maximum protection to the staff and the patients,” said the hospital in a statement.
Much of the NIS 100 million ($29 million) funding for the new building comes from philanthropist George Schaeffer, on behalf of the Jewish-American non-profit organization Bnai Zion, of which he is chairman.
“As a child of Holocaust survivors, there is nothing more important to me than the security, safety and prosperity of the State of Israel,” he said.
“While I pray every day that this emergency room will never need to be used in the face of vicious attacks from terror groups in the north, it is truly the greatest honor of my life to give the founding gift to this new state-of-the-art emergency room at Bnai Zion Medical Center.”
Bnai Zion, founded in 1922, treated more than 500 wounded civilians during the 2006 war.
Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm, CEO of the Bnai Zion organization, said: “Bnai Zion Medical Center’s latest building is this ethic of collective kindness personified. It represents a commitment by one of Israel’s best hospitals to protect those in need even in the face of terroristic threats.
“We at Bnai Zion have been proud supporters of the medical center for decades, and look forward to inaugurating a new era in our partnership, grounded in the marriage between kindness and innovation.”