Despite High Tensions with Syria, Israel Providing Tons of Aid to Syrian Civilians

Israel is being a “good neighbor” to Syria, despite the conflict. Israeli signpost showing distance between Israel, Syria in Golan Heights. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Last week, Israel’s military provided hundreds of tents and tons of food and clothing to displaced Syrian refugees living in camps inside Syrian territory. Just days later, Israel’s military increased their number of troops along the Syrian border, as tensions between Israel, the Syrian regime and its ally Iran stay high. That’s not a contradiction, but a reality for Israel: They are staring down at war with the Syrian regime, but not the Syrian people.

“The IDF has provided life-saving humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians through Operation ‘Good Neighbor’ for several years, as a good-will gesture, while maintaining a policy of non-intervention in the Syrian conflict,” said the IDF Spokesperson on Friday in a series of Twitter posts about the latest aid provided.

The Twitter posts continued by stating, “The IDF is closely monitoring the events transpiring in southern Syrian and is prepared for a wide variety of scenarios, including additional humanitarian aid distribution to Syrians fleeing hostilities.”

The posts said that the latest aid was delivered in a “special operation” at night and included 13 tons of food, three pallets of medical equipment and medicine and 30 tons of clothing and footware. The IDF Spokesperson underscored the need felt by the Syrian civilian refugees.

“Thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing the hostilities are living under poor conditions in these camps near the Israeli border, often lacking access to water, electricity, food, and other basic necessities,” said the IDF Spokesperson Twitter post.

It’s not just aid being given to the Syrians either. An article posted to the IDF website said that six injured Syrians, including four children, were brought across the Israel-Syrian border last Friday night by the IDF for medical care. After receiving “life-saving first aid” from IDF troops at the border, the Syrians were transferred to an Israeli hospital, according to the IDF report.

The article cited Syrian reports as saying that the families of the children had been killed in bombings in Syria.

In the last five years, more than 3,500 civilians injured in Syria have received medical assistance in Israel according to the IDF, while over 1,500 tons of food has been given to Syrians since 2016.

Meanwhile, Israel has repeatedly struck at terrorist, Syrian and Iranian military targets in Syria to try to prevent terrorists from obtaining advanced weapons and the Iranians from establishing a stronghold in Syria.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summarized Israel’s approach to the situation in Syria succinctly in comments released by his office on Sunday, the same day IDF troop buildup at the border was announced.

Said the Israeli leader, “Regarding southern Syria, we will continue to defend our borders. We will extend humanitarian assistance to the extent of our abilities.”

In other words, it’s the Syrian regime and its allies who are in conflict with Israel, not the Syrian people.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, July 1, 2018)

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