TEL AVIV, Israel (WCBD) — A Lowcountry doctor who is currently in Israel is speaking out about the horrors he’s witnessed ever since the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas first attacked Israel last Saturday.
Dr. Ram Kalus described to News 2 what it’s like to see his home country under siege, and what it’s like for him to be so close to the war zone.
For many in America, videos of buildings exploding are difficult to watch.
But the same building explosions, deadly airstrikes and chaos in the streets have been a reality for people like Dr. Ram Kalus ever since Hamas launched an unprecedented assault on Israel one week ago.
“I arrived here on Friday night,” Kalus said, “eight days ago, had dinner with my boys and the next morning, this horrific massacre took place.”
Doctor often visits homeland
Kalus is a doctor whose practice Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas is in Mount Pleasant. He was born in Israel and often travels back to visit his two sons, who serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Kalus recalls the night he was awakened by air raid sirens and one of his sons, who was spending the night with his father, told him they needed to move into their safe room.
“We got into there and we heard the sirens,” he said. “Then, his phone was just buzzing off the hook because he’s an officer, from his soldiers under his command and his commanding officers, to get back to base as quickly as possible.”
Kalus drove his son, and three other IDF soldiers, back to base and soon realized his country was under attack.
“Hamas is spending all of its money and resources on one mission,” Kalus said, “and that is to annihilate the State of Israel, to kill Israelis, to kill Jews. This horrific and barbaric act is the worst that this country has seen since the Holocaust.”
The attacks hit close to home for Kalus. He shared that he and others know several Israeli civilians of all ages who have been killed since the Hamas incursion began.
“We have very close friends whose daughter is about the age of my sons,” he said, “and her boyfriend was shot and killed at point-blank along with his mother, who was disabled and in a wheelchair.”
Kalus is currently on staff at the area’s largest military-civilian hospital. He says the things he’s witnessed in the past week are simply unimaginable.
“When I was at the receiving center seeing truckloads,” Kalus said, “literally truckloads, of victims in body bags, which we then opened and fingerprinted and obtained DNA samples for, it was an experience that is absolutely seared on me.”
Kalus says this is the most horrific attack his homeland has faced in its 75-year history.
“We have 1,300 dead,” he said. “That will go up. We have about 150 hostages, including Americans. We have over 2,500 or 3,000 injured.”
And he says the Israeli people are hurting, not only for the loved ones they’ve lost, but for the Palestinians in Gaza as well.
“For their incredible challenges now that were brought on to them by their corrupt,” Kalus said, “horrific, evil leadership that has shown a complete disregard for their welfare. With their one mission, which is in their charter, it’s written, and their charter is to destroy Israel and to kill Israelis and to kill Jews.”
Kalus says the support Israel has received from America and the international community is overwhelming and very much appreciated. He remains optimistic that peace can be achieved in the Middle East and says he plans to stay in Israel until the conflict is over.