Independence Day in Israel includes one feature which is loved by all: the Air Force’s flyover up the coast and over Jerusalem and the Galilee, featuring some of the force’s historic aircraft, alongside specialized crafts such as the refueling Boeing jets, and then the latest in military aviation: the F-35 stealth crafts.
This year’s flyover was very different, due to the coronavirus, in two ways: first, there are no crowds of Israelis out there, they’re all keeping indoors, obeying the Health Ministry’s guidelines; and second – instead of their regular path in Israel’s sky, this year those Air Force planes are flying over the country’s hospitals.
“We feel the need to salute and put in the center those who are really at the forefront,” said Air Force Manpower Chief Brigadier General Itamar Reichel. “We’re used to being at the front line, but lately, those who take up the entire stage in dealing with this complex crisis are the various medical teams – in hospitals, the HMOs and in Magen David Adom.”
These are the hospitals which received a visit from above this Independence Day (in chronological order):
Wolfson (Holon), Ichilov (Tel Aviv), Tel Hashomer (Ramat Gan), Mayanai Hayeshua (Bnei Brak), Assuta (Ramat Hachayal), Meir (Kfar Saba), Sharon, Schneider, and Beilinson (Petah Tikva), Ha’emek (Afula), Poriya (T’veria), Ziv (Tsfat); Galilee Medical Center (Nahariya), Maimonides (Haifa), Bnei Zion Hospital (Haifa), Carmel (Haifa), Hillel Yaffe (Hadera), Laniado (Netanya), Barzilai (Ashkelon), Assuta (Ashdod), Kaplan (Rehovot), Shamir (Rishon LeZion), Hadassah Ein Kerem (Jerusalem), Shaare Zedek (Jerusalem), Hadassah Mt. Scopus (Jerusalem), Yoseftal (Eilat), and Soroka (Beer Sheva).