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Syrian mothers filmed crossing border say 'all Syrians want to come' to Israel

Des mères et des enfants syriens traversent la frontière israélienne, sous la surveillance de soldats des FDI, dans un reportage diffusé le 19 novembre 2017 (capture d'écran de Hadashot News)
(capture d'écran de Hadashot News)
Israel has treated some 3,000 Syrians in hospitals and field hospitals since the beginning of the war

Extraordinary footage showing Syrian mothers crossing into Israel with their sick children for medical care was broadcast by Israel's Hadashot news (formerly Channel 2) on Sunday after the Israel Defense Force (IDF) permitted the channel to film for the first time operations part of its ongoing policy of providing care for civilians and select combatants injured in the country’s raging civil war.

In interviews accompanying the footage, several Syrian mothers expressed deep gratitude to Israel for providing medical assistance and said that many Syrians living near the border no longer view Israel as the enemy, while another said that "all Syrians" would come to Israel if given the opportunity.

“Israel was thought of as the enemy… Now that you are helping us, most [on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights] are with you. They love Israel. They see the true face… the reality,” one mother said.

Another added that the real enemies are "Islamic State, Hezbollah, Bashar [Assad]. They’re all the same."

"I wish we could stay here for good," another interviewee told the reporter. "I’d be the first to cross [if the border were open]" she said, adding that "all of Syria would follow me. All the civilians left in Syria would come."

(capture d'écran de Hadashot TV)

Another mother concurred: "Everyone wants to come here. Adults too; not just the children." She added that "it has become unremarkable" for Syrian civilians to come to Israel for medical care.

Hadashot said that 21 mothers and 23 children entered Israel during the filming of its report, noting that Syrian doctors had selected the cases for treatment. Many of the children had suffered shrapnel wounds, while others had chronic illnesses for which no effective treatment was available in their war-ravaged homeland.

The identities of the interviewees were concealed, their faces blurred, for their protection. One mother told the Israeli reporter that she had come to the border from Islamic State held territory.

Israel has treated some 3,000 Syrians in hospitals and field hospitals since the beginning of the civil war raging across its northern border since 2013, when the Israel Defense Force (IDF)  first began providing medical aid after a single man was taken care of after collapsing near the border. 

Under the auspices of the IDF's operation 'Good Neighbor', which began in June 2016, the army has coordinated border crossings and transferred 360 tons of food and flour to civilians in Syria.

Israel's medical aid remains ongoing, despite serious reservations about a ceasefire in southwestern Syria brokered by the United States and Russia, which it argues will allow Iranian proxies closer to Israeli territory.

See also:

Treating victims of Syria's war: a 'beacon of hope' for peace in the Middle East

Israeli soldiers treat the victims of the Syrian conflict in the Golan Heights

Comments

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G-d bless Israel and the IDF. Very proud of all humanitarian help you give to everyone around the world .

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