A Doctor's Duty in a Palestinian Prison Camp in Israel

Ishay Lev, MD

In This Article


Ishay Lev is a family medicine resident at The Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical Center at Jerusalem, Israel. After spending more than 10 years as a fighting commander in Ramallah (a major Palestinian city next to Jerusalem) and Al-burrage (a major refugee camp next to Aza) on his regular army duty, Dr. Lev was recruited again for his first duty as a military reserve medical officer. The following diary describes the first week from a month that Dr. Lev spent as the physician of Palestinian and Israeli soldiers -- detainees and jailers -- in an army camp used as a prison.

This prison camp was built to accommodate Palestinian men detained before their court appearance and for short periods of imprisonment, since the initiation of the second Palestinian uprising (The Second Intifada) and usually for reasons of aiding and abating Palestinian terrorists. On arrival Dr. Lev was immediately educated on the importance of adhering to the Geneva law and representatives as well as the need to allow things to run smoothly in the camp. Confronting both of these impossible tasks during times of war is detailed in the following authentic description.