Expressing their gratitude, Syrian civil war victims treated by Israeli field hospitals on the Golan Heights pen appreciation letters for the IDF’s medical care, saying it has strengthened their yearning for peace, undermined indoctrination of Israel as an enemy.
– “To all Syrians who say Israel is the enemy, I say that you are liars….Israel is our friend.”
By Yoav Birenberg
Dozens of Syrian civilians have written letters of gratitude to Israel and the IDF for establishing field hospitals on its northern border which provided, and continue to provide, medical care to numerous victims wounded in the country’s ongoing violent civil war.
One 27-year-old Syrian woman, identifiable as ‘G.’ made her way to the Israeli side of the border on the Golan Heights seeking medical care for her son who had been wounded in the fighting.
After the IDF treated her son, G. wrote a letter of appreciation to Israel lamenting the “tragic situation in Syria” and expressing her yearning for peace and the prevention of further bloodshed.
“Syria was the most beautiful country of all Arab countries. We thought that Israel was our enemy, but we realized that it’s good to us. I want to thank the hospitals in Israel and the Israeli army for all its help to the … Syrian children,” she wrote
While Israeli field hospitals have existed for years, an operation was launched in June 2016 by the 210th division of the Northern Command dubbed “Operation Good Neighbor” aimed at providing relief to the civilians lacking any alternative, whose medical services and infrastructure have been almost entirely obliterated by the carnage.
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Also bemoaning the conflict in Syria which has wrenched the country asunder, was ‘M.,’ a 30-year-old married man with children.
Beginning his missive by describing the “horrendous situation” in Syria, M. explained how Israel seemed to be the only place in which medical care could be offered to the civilians caught in the crossfire of the fighting.
“After seven years of revolution in which we have lost lives and blood, there was no where for the wounded Syrians to go and receive treatment,” his letter began. “I am grateful to the State of Israel for the help it provided to all the wounded people of Syria.”
M. also emphasized that his previous beliefs that Israel was an enemy had been dispelled by his first-hand experience.
“After years of thinking that Israel was the enemy that needs to be gotten rid of, (after thinking) that we need to return the Syrian territories (Golan Heights) I am grateful to you for your treatment and especially to the Israeli army for its humanitarianism.”
Ynet video – Published on May 11, 2015
For ‘S.’, 26, who had to have his right hand amputated, Israel’s efforts had convinced him that peace had to be made between the two countries.
“We, the nation of Syria, want peace with the State of Israel because it provided us with many services during this troubled period. To all Syrians who say Israel is the enemy, I say that you are liars. Peace to Syria and to Israel,” he wrote. Echoing such sentiments, ‘D.’ described Israel as “our friend.”
Since 2011, around half a million Syrians have been killed in the civil war. Another 2 million have been wounded and some 6 million have been made homeless.
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