An Iranian woman who was described as a "very close relation" of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini received medical treatment at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, according to hospital officials.
Dr. Shaul Feldman, head of the medical center's Neurology Department, said that "tens" of Iranians have been treated there and at other Israeli hospitals since the 1979 Islamic revolution, even though Iran has in the past supported diplomatic sanctions against Israel. Feldman denied a report in a Kuwaiti daily newspaper that five Israeli doctors had saved Khomeini's life.
Dr. Joseph Schenker, head of the medical center's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said the woman who was a close relative of the ayatollah had a special room in a private wing that is known as "The Persian Private Medical Service" because of the number of Iranians who have been treated there.
Dr. David Ben Ezra, an eye specialist at the center, said many Iranians who have been treated at the hospital crossed the border into Afghanistan and made their way through Turkey to Israel. He said others flew to Europe and then to Israel, changing airlines and routes to hide their final destination.
In response to the Kuwaiti press report, Dr. Ben Ezra said he was not aware of any Israeli doctors who have visited Iran since the revolution. But he said he was "certain that if Israeli doctors were asked and were given all the necessary guarantees for their safety, they would not hesitate to go."