Amid the Killing, E.R. is an Oasis

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WHERE COEXISTENCE WORKS: Palestinian doctor Rawand Ratrout tends to Israeli Ludmila Lekior, who was badly wounded in last week’s bus bombing in Jerusalem

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Qawasbeh, 27, came back to the vicious realities from which he was sheltered at Hadassah. He returned to his parents' house and a room next to his sister Suheir and her two children. She had gone back from her home near the village of al-Khader, west of Bethlehem, to live with her parents after Israeli troops shot her husband. He had been caught in the street when gunfire erupted and was felled by a shot to the chest. Qawasbeh needs to visit another hospital in Jerusalem for further treatment every two weeks. The last time he tried to cross Checkpoint 300 between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers turned him back.

Rivkind, a tall, exuberant man with curly gray hair, thinks back on Qawasbeh's stay at Hadassah as he moves through the crowded E.R. wearing bloody scrubs a few hours after last week's bombing. "The guy's a terrorist, one hundred percent, but I don't care," he says. Hadassah, Rivkind pledges, will help the Palestinian get a permit to cross the checkpoint.

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