The Arab head of head and neck surgery and cancer research at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center has become an unexpected hero amid a series of deadly terror attacks in Israel – one of them perpetrated by residents of the town where he lives.
At 9:30 p.m. on April 7, Dr. Nidal Muhanna was driving from his family home in Umm al-Fahm – an Arab Israeli town in the Haifa district – when he received a phone call from Professor Ronni Gamzu, CEO of the medical center. .
Gamzu told Muhanna that 10 victims of a terrorist attack on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street had been taken to hospital. One of them urgently needed the expertise of an otolaryngologist and he asked Muhanna to send a colleague as soon as possible.
Instead of finding another doctor, Muhanna immediately dropped her family off and “flew to Tel Aviv.”
“When I arrived, [the patient] was already in an operating room in immediate danger of death. With a team of professional surgeons and anesthesiologists, I was able to stop the bleeding and stabilize her until she was out of danger,” Muhanna said.
Minutes later, he treated the serious facial injuries of another shooting victim. “During a complex operation, we stopped the bleeding and he is also recovering now,” Muhanna said.
Give a different example
When asked to explain why he himself undertook this difficult task, Muhanna explained that on March 27, two men from Umm al-Fahm carried out a deadly attack in Hadera that left two soldiers dead. 19-year-old border police and eight other people. injured.
“About two weeks ago, terrorists in the city where I live carried out a horrific attack. It is important for me on this particular day to set a different example,” he said.
“Ninety-nine percent of the residents of Umm al-Fahm and the Arab sector support coexistence and are against violence and murder,” the doctor added. “It’s not our way and it’s against Islam.”
In a message the medical center posted on Facebook, Muhanna said he hoped for “calm and safe days for all of us, all of Israeli society, Jews and Arabs alike.”
Trained at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and later at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, Muhanna said saving lives was a natural and obvious mission for him.
“It’s the ABC of humanity,” he said. “Because that’s how I was brought up at home – in Umm al-Fahm.”