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"How Many Palestinian Civilians Did You Kill In The IDF?"

Every combat medic in the Israel Defense Forces takes a oath to treat all humans - friend or foe. That includes the Palestinians.

Hananya Naftali during the beret ceremony in 2013
Hananya Naftali during the beret ceremony in 2013

"How Many Palestinian Civilians Did You Kill In The IDF?"

One woman asked me this question on one of my speaking tours in Europe.

I replied to her and said: “ZERO. But tell me, how many Palestinian civilians did you save as an anti-Israel protester”?

She didn’t want to answer me, but the answer was zero.

I said to her: “You protest against me, but I saved more Palestinian civilians than you when I served as a combat medic in the Israel Defense Forces. You did nothing for Palestinians; Israeli soldiers do more than you”.

She DID NOT like my answer and left. Don’t argue with me if you do not like the truth.

A Combat Medic's Oath: Healing Without Borders

In the IDF, every combat medic takes a solemn oath: to treat anyone in need, enemy or friend. This isn't just a formality; it's a profound moral commitment that guides us, often in the midst of chaos. During my service, I was a part of numerous operations where the primary goal was to save lives, including those of Palestinians. This starkly contrasts the often one-dimensional portrayal of Israeli soldiers.

Israeli military medic treats Palestinian child
A Palestinian child whose hand was burnt came to Ariel in order to recieve first aid from IDF medic.

The reality on the ground tells a different story—one of humanity and heroism. The IDF, as an institution, embeds a deep sense of ethical duty towards all humans. This ethos is evident not only in the field but also in hospitals across Israel. I remember during my military service how we helped a Palestinian pregnant woman to get the medical attention she needed. If Israeli soldiers are so evil according to the protesters, then why do Palestinians come to us when they need help? It's very simple - they know the truth about the Israel Defense Forces.

The Untold Numbers: Palestinians in Israeli Hospitals

Annually, tens of thousands of Palestinians receive treatment in Israeli hospitals. The TIME Magazine reported that According to Project Rozana, close to 100,000 Palestinian patients seek specialized treatment in Israeli and East Jerusalem hospitals every year, including children who require treatments like chemotherapy or pediatric dialysis. 

This includes complex surgeries, life-saving treatments for chronic diseases, and emergency care that is unavailable in Palestinian territories. These are not mere statistics; they represent lives saved, pain alleviated, and hope restored.

Now, think with me: how many Israeli patients are treated in Palestinian hospitals? I should simplify - what happens to a Jew that enters a Palestinian city?

The protestors who regularly condemn Israel often overlook these figures. They rally against what they see as aggression but remain conspicuously silent about the bridges of compassion that Israeli medics and hospitals build every day. It's easy to wave a placard; it's infinitely harder to face the complexities of a conflict where Israeli doctors and nurses work tirelessly to preserve life, irrespective of the ongoing conflict.

A Biblical Mandate

The Biblical verse, "Thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor" (Leviticus 19:16), resonates deeply with what we learned in the IDF Combat Medics Academy. This directive goes beyond mere words, shaping actions that have profound impacts on real lives. It's a mandate that many of us in the IDF took to heart, ensuring that our service was not just about defense but about affirming life.

IDF medic with full gear
Hananya Naftali on Israel-Syria border treating Syrian civilian victims of Civil War in 2015

Concluding Thoughts: Hope Amidst Conflict

To those who question the morality of the IDF or the intentions of Israel, I say: Look at the actions that speak louder than the slogans. The narrative of oppression is compelling as a rhetorical device but fails under the scrutiny of these humanitarian efforts. Israelis extend their hands in peace, even when they are met with hostility. We live in a crazy reality that requires us to defend ourselves, but we never lose sight of humanity.

Hope persists amidst the conflict. It lives in the hospitals where Palestinian children receive chemotherapy from Israeli doctors; it thrives on the roads where IDF medics rush to save lives without asking for identity cards. This is the Israel I know and served. This is the truth that protestors, often clad in ignorance, fail to see.

As we move forward, let us carry the torch of this truth, illuminating the shadows cast by bias and hatred. Let us be relentless in our pursuit of peace, but let us also be relentless in defending the truth. For in the end, actions—not slogans—will pave the road to reconciliation. Don’t argue with those who refuse to see the truth. Instead, live it, prove it, and let it shine so brightly that no ignorance can dim its light.

9,097 views3 comments


May 07

Thank you for everything you did and continue to do. Shalom, brother


Apr 25

Thank you for this post! I shook hands with you in Oud-Beijerland 2 weeks ago, but after reading this, I would like to do it again to thank you for your service and telling the truth once again. You mentioned the topic briefly during your tour, but I think you should explain it during those meetings in the same depth as in this article.


Apr 25

Thank you. The anti-Jewish hatred and ignorance is something that has astonished and grieved me as a Western non-Jew. May you know peace. Hamas is an atrocity, acting out atrocious beliefs. It must be stopped. The blood of the Palestinians is on the hands of Hamas and their promoters.

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