(July 1, 2018 / JNS) In what the Israel Defense Forces called a “unique and complex medical operation,” four newly orphaned Syrian children and two Syrian nationals were brought into Israel on Friday night for humanitarian medical aid.
The six were injured in a renewed offensive against anti-regime forces in the southwestern Daraa region and were allowed entry to Israel after local leaders made contact with the Jewish state to ask for help. The children’s parents were believed to be killed in the attacks, and received first aid to stabilize them before they were brought to an undisclosed hospital in Israel’s north.
The four children included three girls aged 6, 7 and 10, and a 14-year-old boy. The three girls all suffered head wounds, while the boy suffered stomach and shrapnel wounds. Two men, ages 19 and 25, with injuries to their legs were also admitted.
The rare refuge was offered after the IDF provided several tons of humanitarian aid to camps that are filled with tens of thousands of refugees along Israel’s border. Aid included 13 tons of food, 15 tons of baby food, three pallets filled with medical supplies, 30 tons of clothes and shoes, and 300 tents.
“The IDF is monitoring what is going on in southern Syria and is prepared for a variety of scenarios, including continuing to provide humanitarian aid to fleeing Syrians. The IDF will not allow Syrian refugees into Israeli territory and will continue to act to protect Israel’s security interests,” the military said on Friday.
Israel has treated thousands of chronically ill and war-injured Syrians since 2013, and supplied hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid to nearby Syrian citizens.
Of the 4,800 people treated in field and public hospitals in northern Israel, approximately half were children.
A clinic Israel opened in cooperation with international aid organizations on the border in 2017 has treated an additional 6,000 Syrian patients.