Mohammed, whose family name is not being used in order to protect his identity, a young farmer from Deraa, where protests against President Bashar al-Assad began back in 2011, is one of a growing number of injured Syrians receiving medical attention in Israel.

Israeli authorities say that at least 1,500 Syrians have been treated so far, with about 20% of them being treated at Haifa’s Rambam hospital.

The Israeli military finds them in the Golan Heights, deposited on the Syrian side of the fence that marks the 1967 ceasefire line.

Israeli officials are coy about how the process works, but it is clear that a degree of co-ordination now surrounds both the arrival of the wounded and their eventual return after treatment.

While Syrians now may be a common sight in the wards and corridors of places like Rambam Hospital, Mohammed’s case is still remarkable.

Mohammed has benefitted from a revolutionary medical procedure, and as he gets ready to cross back into Syria, he says that he is determined to come back to Israel to finish his treatment.

There cannot be too many Syrians who have made the journey twice.

Syria and Israel consider each other as enemies. A state of war has existed between them for decades.

When Mohammed arrived at Rambam Hospital at the beginning of November 2014, he was unconscious and barely clinging to life.

Some kind of projectile, which Mohammed told BBC came from a Syrian military jet, had destroyed the lower part of his face, leaving a bloody mass of tissue.

As luck would have it, one of the hospital’s maxillofacial surgeons, Dr. Yoav Leiser, had just returned from a fellowship in Germany where he studied the groundbreaking field of Patient Specific Implants (PSIs).

Leiser’s department boss, Prof. Adi Rachmiel, told him to get to work immediately on Mohammed.

Three months later, Mohammed’s face has been reconstructed and he can talk, thanks to a titanium lower jaw, forged on a 3D printer, using cranial measurements to estimate the size of his missing bones.

The first such transplant was performed in the Netherlands in 2011, but this was the first time it had been seen in Israel.

Other patients are waiting in the wings.

The farmer from Deraa, who said he felt fear when he first woke up to find himself in Israel, now has nothing but praise for his doctors.

On the day that he was preparing to be taken back to Syria, Mohammed told BBC that he was planning on returning to Haifa, in six months, to have his new teeth implanted, enabling him to eat solid food and complete his rehabilitation.

That night, Mohammed was escorted back to Syria to give his family the surprise of their lives.

There had been no contact for three months. His family probably did not know if he was alive or dead.

As the war approaches its fifth year, it is likely that many other wounded Syrians will make the same unusual journey.

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