Israel’s armed forces this week said it “can’t stand by and watch” the suffering in Syrian, as humanitarian aid efforts ramped up in the Golan Heights with a new field hospital to support the injured coming over the border.
The IDF has, since August last year, undertaken 110 aid operations in support of Syrians caught up in fighting across the border, it said, and the new internationally-run hospital is the latest effort to help.
Most of the 4,000 aid recipients have been residents of the Hauran region of south-western Syria, where hundreds of families live in tents near the Israel-Syria border, as displaced persons or refugees, half of whom are children under the age of 18.
An IDF spokesman said Israel’s armed forces had already supplied critical infrastructure to Syrians just north of the border, including eight shipping containers, seven generators, 2,000ft of pipe and 450,000 litres of fuel, but that the humanitarian mission was paramount.
Major Dr. Sergey, Head of the Medical Department, Operation ‘Good Neighbour’:
“It all started over four years ago. An injured Syrian came to the border asking for medical help from the IDF. Back then, there was no policy, just a commander’s on-the-spot decision to provide care to an injured civilian.”
Since then, IDF Northern Command has stepped up its efforts while maintaining Israel’s policy of non-involvement in the conflict, despite “dozens” of air-strikes, confirmed this week by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments picked up by a reporter’s microphone, targeting Iranian weapons bound for Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based militia.
IDF delivering medical equipment and supplies to Syrians:
Israeli Medical Treatment of Syrians
“Based on my 20-year medical career, I can truly say that the medical care we have provided to our neighbours here in the north of Israel is one of the most significant efforts to treat those in need that I have ever witnessed,” said Col. Dr. Noam Fink, the Chief Medical Officer of the Northern Command. “I deeply hope that our contribution will have a direct impact on the lives of our Syrian neighbours.”
The spokesman added: “We have a moral imperative. We can’t stand by watching a severe humanitarian crisis without helping the innocent people stuck in the middle of the conflict. We also believe that the aid will ultimately create a less hostile environment across the border – and that will lead to improved Israeli security.”
Transfer of food to Syria: