Netanyahu on plight of Syria's Druse: I've ordered to do what is necessary

By
June 17, 2015 15:55

Israel is "closely following what is happening on our borders," Netanyahu tells Knesset plenum in response to questions about Druse under threat in Syria.

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Netanyahu

Netanyahu speaking at Knesset, May 4, 2015. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Israel is prepared to act to help Druse refugees from Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset on Wednesday.

“We are vigilantly following all that is being done along our borders, and my instruction is to take all action necessary,” Netanyahu said in response to questions from MK Hamad Amer (Yisrael Beytenu), who is Druse.

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The prime minister’s comments came as rebels surrounded the Syrian government- controlled Druse border town of Hader on Wednesday after heavy fighting.

Druse Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud) said his brethren in Hader do not need aid from Israel and are not willing to evacuate their wounded to Israeli hospitals. “It is in the interest of the US and the moderate Arab world to support the Druse, who are facing the monster of Islamic State and [al-Qaida’s] Nusra Front,” Kara said after a long meeting with Netanyahu about the situation.

Kara said he spoke with various Syrian Druse on Tuesday night and told them that if the Nusra Front harms them, “they will get a knockout blow.”

The deputy minister told them that if the Druse need any aid, a solution will be found, but he did not elaborate on how this would be carried out.

Early on Tuesday morning, the Nusra Front killed one Syrian Druse officer and wounded 10 others in Hader, according to Mendi Safadi, an Israeli Druse who has served as Kara’s chief of staff, and who has traveled in the region and met with Syrian opposition activists.

The attack took place inside the village, he said, though there is a Syrian army base located nearby.

“If a large number of refugees comes to the border from the combat zones, we will do what is needed to prevent a massacre,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said, according to a person who was present at the parliamentary briefing.

Eisenkot, who was discussing a scenario of refugees being targeted by jihadists on the Syrian-held side of the Golan, did not elaborate on what Israel would do if that happened.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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