The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday began exploring ways for Israel to expand the medical assistance given to civilian casualties in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.
“We see the tragedy of the terrible suffering of the civilians,” Netanyahu said at an annual New Year’s event he holds with the foreign press. “We are prepared to take in wounded women and children, and also men if they are not combatants. Bring them to Israel , take care of them in our hospitals as we have done with thousands of Syrian civilians. We are looking into ways of doing this. It is being explored as we speak.”
One of the issues being explored, one government official said, is the question of how to transfer the civilians from Aleppo. Up until now, he pointed out, most of the Syrians treated in Israel were from regions close to the Golan border. Transferring wounded from Aleppo, he said, is a much more complicated logistical issue.
Netanyahu said he does not see a resolution for the Syrian situation. “Will it come together and be a unified Syria? I doubt it,” he said. “I think you have enclaves there and they are not about to disappear, but the suffering is great, and the one initiative we took is to help – as I said – thousands of Syrians who are sometimes mutilated beyond belief. We help them. I offered to do more today. I don’t know if we can resolve Syria, but we can help mitigate some of the suffering. That is the best that Israel can do.”
At the same time, he said, Israel will not let the Syrian war or aggression from Syria “spillover into our territory.” He said that Israel has stringently maintained its red lines on this matter.