Israel repatriated on Wednesday six of seven Syrians after treating them
for wounds suffered in the insurgency against President Bashar Assad,
the IDF said.
Israel admitted the Syrians on Feb. 16 through the
Golan Heights, whose eastern foothills have seen fighting between
Assad's forces and rebels. Israeli officials gave no further details on
the casualties' identities.
A military spokeswoman said six of
them were discharged from hospital and returned to Syria on Wednesday.
The seventh was still under Israeli medical care with severe wounds, she
A statement issued by the IDF said the
Syrians' repatriation "was completed at an undisclosed location for
their own safety." Israel and Syria are technically at war, and some
anti-Assad rebels are jihadists hostile to the Jewish state.
seven Syrians wounded in the upheaval gripping that country for almost
two years were taken for surgery at Safed’s Ziv Hospital.
admission came as a surprise to Ziv, but the hospital spokesman said:
“When patients come to the emergency room, we take care of them.”
arrived at first, followed by two more. All suffered from gunshot or
shrapnel wounds. One of the patients, who was shot in the abdomen, was
in critical condition but stabilized and operated on. The other six were
in less serious condition.
wounded men had arrived at the Syrian-Israeli border fence, and IDF
soldiers administered first aid on the scene, an army spokeswoman said
at the time.
It was the first time that Syrians had been taken to
Israel for medical treatment since the uprising against President
Bashar Assad began almost two years ago.
Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on February 16 that Israel’s decision to allow
the Syrians into the country did not mark a change in policy.
in an interview with Channel 2, Ya’alon said that Syrian refugees would
not be allowed into Israel en masse, and that the incident was an
exception. Similar instances in the future would be judged on a
case-by-case basis, he said.
An army source similarly stressed that the evacuation was “a pinpoint incident that does not signify a change of policy.
policy is not to permit border crossings, except in special
humanitarian cases, each of which will be examined individually.”
official said the government had for months been preparing various
contingency plans for how to deal with scenarios that could play out
along the Golan border.
The wounded men came as Syrian troops bombarded the
demilitarized zone near Israel in reprisal for rebel action
nearby, according to AFP.
Yaakov Lapin contributed to this report.