Four Syrian children, 2 adults were given initial life-saving treatment by IDF soldiers in the field before being transferred to a hospital.
– IDF repeats: ‘Israel will not open borders to fleeing Syrians but emergency medical assistance and humanitarian aid will continue.’
The IDF transferred six wounded Syrians, including four young children, to Israeli hospitals for treatment on Saturday, just one day after the military announced it would not allow entry to Syrians fleeing the regime offensive yet will continue providing humanitarian aid.
According to the IDF, the injured Syrians were rushed into Israel and were given initial life-saving treatment by IDF soldiers in the field before being transferred to a hospital.
“Upon receiving the call during the evening hours, the Northern Command medical forces were dispatched to the border fence in the southern Golan Heights and prepared for the medical event,” read a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
The wounded included a 10-year-old girl with head and limb injuries, a 7-year-old girl with a head injury and shrapnel all over her body, an unconscious 6-year-old girl with a head injury, a 14-year-old boy with a stomach injury and shrapnel wounds throughout his body, a young adult of about 19 years old with shrapnel injuries to his leg. A man of about 25 years old with an injury to his left leg was also transferred to the hospital.
The Syrians reported that the children’s families had all been killed in bombardments in southwest Syria.
On Friday morning the IDF announced that while it will continue providing humanitarian aid to those fleeing a regime offensive, it “will not allow passage of Syrians fleeing the country and will continue to defend Israel’s security interests,” and that it is monitoring the events in southern Syria and is preparing for a variety of scenarios.
On Thursday night, 300 tents, 13 tons of food, 15 tons of baby food, three palettes of medical equipment and medicines, as well as 30 tons of clothing and footwear were transferred by the IDF in a special operation at four different locations.
“This is a specific aid that the IDF and the State of Israel have transferred to the Syrians in camps in the south and in the center of the Syrian Golan Heights, in which thousands of Syrians live in poor conditions without access to water, electricity, food or basic necessities,” read the statement.
The IDF has been providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to Syrians in the Golan Heights as part of Operation Good Neighbors launched in June 2016, providing among other things 1,524 tons of food, 250 tons of clothes, 947,520 liters of fuel, 21 generators, 24,900 palettes of medical equipment and medicine all while maintaining the principle of non-involvement in the Syrian civil war.
In addition, over 4,800 wounded men, women and children entered the country since 2013. Over 1,300 sick children have been admitted to specialist clinics in Israel since 2016 and some 6,000 patients have been treated in the “Mazor Ladach” field clinic set up by the IDF and run by an international aid organization in the southern Golan Heights since it opened in August 2017.
Last year a senior IDF officer stated that “this project has a significant impact on Israel’s security,” adding that “we have learned from the Americans who lost the Iraqi population. We realized that we could do more for the population near our border than what we were doing at the time.”
While Jerusalem has repeatedly stated its intention to refrain from interfering in the war-torn country, it has publicly stated it would protect the Druse residents of the Hader pocket because of Israel’s deep commitment to the Druse population.
The humanitarian assistance delivered on Thursday morning comes as the Syrian army backed by Iranian Shi’ite militias and Hezbollah have pummeled the southwestern provinces of Dara’a and Quneitra in an offensive aimed at recapturing the strategic areas bordering Jordan and the Golan Heights from rebels.
According to The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, air strikes have killed over 50 people, including children, since Wednesday in rebel-held parts of Dara’a known as the cradle of the Syrian uprising.
The United Nations fears that some 45,000 people have fled and have headed toward the border with Israel and Jordan, which has also stated that its borders will remain closed to the fleeing Syrians.
On Thursday, IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot landed in the United States for a working visit in Washington as a guest of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford. During his visit to the American capital, Eisenkot will be meet with senior US military and defense officials to discuss “military cooperation in the face of significant defense challenges in the different regions of the Middle East.”
The talks are expected to focus on the regime offensive in southwest Syria, which could put Iranian and Shi’ite militias troops close to Israel’s northern borders, a redline for Jerusalem.
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