Doctors at the Israeli field hospital in Ukraine delivered the first baby born at the medical site set up amid Russia’s invasion of the country, Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.
“After a very difficult week, finally some good news,” the ministry said, adding that both the baby, born on Thursday, and the mother were doing well.
The baby was delivered by Caesarean section, according to a public relations official at Sheba Medical Centre, which is helping operate the hospital in Mostyska, outside the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.
The hospital is named Kochav Meir (Shining Star) in honour of former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, who was born in Ukraine and was the founder of the Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation aid program, which is leading the project.
Housed on the grounds of an elementary school, the NIS 21 million ($8.7 million) facility fills 10 outdoor tents and has also converted multiple classrooms into hospitalisation wards.
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz is expected to visit the hospital next week during what would be the first visit to Ukraine by an Israeli minister since the war began on February 24, Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel said earlier on Friday.
Along with the hospital, Israel has sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine but not provided military assistance as it seeks to walk a diplomatic tightrope between Kyiv and Moscow. It has avoided harshly criticising Russia, or supporting Ukraine too strongly because of Russia’s presence in Syria.
Meanwhile, police in western Ukraine arrested a man they suspect stabbed the leader of a Jewish community last Thursday.
The assailant stabbed Igor Perelman, the director of the Jewish community of the city of Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine, where many refugees have fled to escape Russian attacks in the eastern part of the country, according to the Ukrainian Jewish News site, which quoted police sources.
Perelman’s injuries were not life-threatening, the report added.
According to earlier reports by the same website, the stabbing suspect, 49, shouted antisemitic obscenities at Perelman on the street as he and other members of the local Jewish community delivered food and aid to needy residents.
TIMES OF ISRAEL, JTA
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