Barzilai Medical Center

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Barzilai Medical Center
Barzilai hospital at night
Palestinian and Israeli families find a shelter in Barzilai hospital during and shelling from grad rockets from the Gaza Strip

Barzilai Medical Center (Hebrew: מרכז רפואי ברזילי‎, Merkaz Refu'i Barzilai) is a 490-bed hospital in Ashkelon in southern Israel. The Hospital serves a population of 500,000, including a large number of Ethiopian and Russian immigrants. It has 100,000 admissions annually.[1]


The hospital opened in July 1961, and was initially named Ashkelon Hospital. Part of its site was previously Hussein ibn Ali's eleventh century mosque, a center of Muslim pilgrimage destroyed by the Israeli army in 1950.[2] Construction was financed by the Ministry of Health with the assistance of the South-African Zionist Federation, the Ashkelon municipality and Mifal HaPayis. The building was designed by the architect David Anatol Brutzkus, covering an area of 8,000m². In 1971, it was renamed after Minister of Health Yisrael Barzilai, who had lain the cornerstone of the building in the early 1960s.[3]

Plans to build a new rocket and missile-proof emergency room for the hospital have been hampered by Haredi protests sparked by the discovery of human remains in an ancient burial ground unearthed during construction activities. [4]

Situated six miles from Gaza, it has been the target of numerous Qassam and Grad rocket attacks, sometimes as many as 140 over one weekend. The hospital plays a vital role in treating wounded soldiers and terror victims.[1]


  1. ^ a b Steady rain of missiles strains Israeli hospital New Jersey Jewish News, 8 April, 2008
  2. ^ History Erased, Haaretz, 5 July 2007
  3. ^ About The Barzilai Medical Center Barzilai Medical Center
  4. ^ Don't budge Barzilai bones The Jerusalem Post, 18 March 2010

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Coordinates: 31°39′45.18″N 34°33′37.88″E / 31.6625500°N 34.5605222°E / 31.6625500; 34.5605222