Mr Finkel presented a cheque for US$20,000 to the hospital's Director, Dr Salman Zarka. The money will be used to fund medical equipment that will greatly assist the Paediatric Department with its treatment of the Syrian children.

Ziv Medical Center was the first hospital to treat Syrian casualties caught up in the civil war and it remains one of the largest providers in Israel of medical support for ill and injured Syrians.

More than 300 Syrian children have been treated at the hospital since 2013. Many of those relate to chronic illnesses due to the lack of any medical infrastructure in the south west of Syria. Children with war-related injuries, including those requiring amputation, are also among the patient cohort.

Project Rozana is a multi-faith, humanitarian initiative established in 2013 by Hadassah Australia. Its purpose is to help bridge the divide between Israelis and Palestinians through health. One of its planks is to fund medical treatment in Israel of children from centres of conflict in the region.

The funds were raised after a campaign was mounted in Australia and the United States during June of this year. US efforts were led by New York-based organisation, Ameinu.

Mr Finkel said funding for Syrian children was part of a wider program by Project Rozana to support the treatment of chronically ill Palestinian children at Israel's largest hospitals, Hadassah in Jerusalem and Sheba in Tel Aviv, in cases when funding from the Palestinian Authority has been exhausted or unavailable. It also funds the training of Palestinian health workers at Israeli hospitals before they return to build the health capacity of their own communities, and it financially supports Israeli, NGO 'Road to Recovery', which transports at no cost mainly Palestinian children at the checkpoints on the border of Gaza and the West Bank to medical facilities in Israel.

"We were extremely impressed with the dedication of Ziv's medical team in their treatment of critically and chronically-ill Syrian children when we visited in February this year," Mr Finkel said.

"Every day, the resources of the hospital are committed to their welfare, and it has the support of the people of Zefat.

"This is truly a community endeavour and an indication of how committed Israelis are to the health, welfare and safety of the Syrians caught up in this appalling and senseless cycle of violence."


(left to right): Mr. Haim Regev, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. David Verboom,  Director of the World Vision Office, Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza; Mr. Ron Finkel, Chairman, Project Rozana, Australia; Dr. Salman Zarka, Director, Ziv Medical Center; Ms. Helen Zhang,  Second Secretary, Australian Embassy