The war in Lebanon is continuing to take a heavy toll from the children of northern Israel, and not only psychologically: In recent months a sharp increase has been noted in the number of new patients suffering from juvenile diabetes in the north. The presumed reason for the increase in the incidence of the disease is the feelings of tension and stress that the children experienced in the war, which caused an outbreak of the disease. This is reported by the juvenile diabetes department at Ziv Medical Center, Safed.
In recent weeks, Ziv Hospital in Safed, which is supervising the treatment of the young patients in northern Israel, recorded an increase in the number of patients suffering from an outbreak of the disease. The staff of the juvenile diabetes department still have no numerical data on the dramatic increase in the number of new patients, since they keep arriving at the hospital every day. The department staff will present the increase today to professionals and patients at a juvenile diabetes conference that will be held at the hospital.
“The children who have come to us over the past weeks live in Safed and other communities in the Galilee-populations that have not shown such a high incidence of the disease in the past,” said Dr. Orna Dali-Gottfried, director of the department of pediatrics, juvenile diabetes and endocrinology at the hospital. “Two sectors that were very prominent in the latest wave of illness are children from the Orthodox sector and Druze children, who experienced this kind of stress for the first time in their lives during the war.
“In the past, we saw similar incidents of illness after dramatic security events in the area of Kiryat Shmona, but this time, because the city was evacuated almost completely of residents in the first days of the war, the incidents of illness moved southwards, towards Safed, where the children experienced the full horror of the war. There is no doubt that we are continuing to pay a high price in the health of the children in the north.”
Hymn Instead Of Siren To Announce Sabbath
In the wake of the war in Lebanon, the city of Safed has replaced the siren which informs devout residents of the beginning of the Sabbath each Friday evening with a well-known Sabbath evening hymn, “Lecha Dodi.” Many residents still suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome caused by the Katyusha rockets that struck the town during the war, and the Sabbath siren reminds them of the siren which sometimes preceded the impact of the rockets. Towards the end of last week the new system was installed throughout the town, and now, a few minutes before the Sabbath begins, the “Lecha Dodi” tune is played.
“The residents were panic-stricken when they heard the sirens and, therefore, we decided to install a modern system, which makes it possible to play Hassidic melodies instead of sirens,” said Rabbi Yehuda Bayer. Officials in Safed said the new system was paid for by a Sabbath observant Jewish businessman.
Mossad: Syria Arming Hezbollah Rapidly
Israel Mossad Intelligence Chief Meir Dagan told the Israeli Parliament Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Syria is arming Hizbullah at a rapid pace and is working to overthrow the Lebanese government and destabilize the American presence in the region.
As to the Iranian nuclear crisis, Dagan said Tehran is having technical difficulties in developing its nuclear program, adding that the international community is not applying sufficient pressure on Iran.
©The Bulletin 2006