Israel is sending water and food to desperate Syrian civilians near the Israeli
border who have been trapped by the civil war, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon
said Tuesday, during a tour of the Golan Heights.
water and food – including baby food. The villages here are locked in,
have no access to anywhere else,” Ya’alon said.
humanitarian help to residents over the border here, and are evacuating them to
our hospitals. We don’t see the situation stabilizing in the near future,”
During his tour, Ya’alon was accompanied by Northern
Command chief Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan and other senior officers, and received a
“We’re seeing daily fighting by opposition elements
against the Syrian army, with the opposition pushing the Syrian army eastwards
and we’re monitoring developments in the rest of the Syrian territory where
there is daily fighting.
The world is focusing on the disbandment of
chemical weapons, but there are hundreds of casualties per week in this
fighting,” the defense minister said.
He praised the IDF’s Northern
Command and the Golan Division for its work to secure the border, saying that
Israel won’t allow a violation of its sovereignty on the Golan Heights, and
won’t accept attacks by various elements in Syria against it.
the situation in the Gaza Strip, Ya’alon said that Hamas is the sovereign ruler
of the enclave, which he called “Hamastan.”
Hamas could have “decided to
grow and export strawberries and not produce and export rockets and missiles. If
it wasn’t for this situation, we would not prevent the entry of pipes used to
manufacture missiles, and would not prevent the entry of concrete, recently used
to dig and build attack tunnels.”
He added, “There is no
siege. We’re the only party that cares about the residents of Gaza
apparently, as Egypt blocked the border, and the PA isn’t interested – it has
Israel is the only party that supplies Gaza with
most of its electricity and water needs, and allows in goods daily through the
Kerem Hashalom crossing, with the exception of concrete and dual-use products
that can be used to manufacture rockets and missiles, he said.
interesting thing is that the world turns to us, not to our neighbors or anyone
else, but turns to us, and says we’re sovereign [over Gaza],” Ya’alon
He revealed that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon turned to him
in recent days with a request to allow concrete into Gaza for the construction
of UN schools.
Ya’alon said he agreed to the request, on two conditions:
“That the UN condemns the use of concrete by Hamas for attack tunnels,” and that
a UN representative tells Israel how much concrete is needed, exactly, for the
project while committing the organization to ensuring that the concrete does not
reach Hamas for terrorist uses.
Asked to comment on strained relations
with the US, Ya’alon said, “Relations between us are excellent, and are based on
common values and interests... Among friends with common interests there can be
divisions. On the Iranian issue, there is undoubtedly an argument between us and
the American administration, and we have expressed our opinion
Nevertheless, he said, bilateral relations have not been
harmed by the dispute over Iran, and open channels exist between the defense
establishments and governments of the two countries.
Iranians left Geneva with an easing of sanctions and an open nuclear-military
“We argued that an easing of sanctions will lead to a flood [of
business with Iran] and to an opening of the dam, and that is what we’re seeing
before us. For the Iranians, this can continue for a long period, and we find
that regrettable,” Ya’alon said.
He noted that the Iranian regime
activates terrorism “not only against Israel, but in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain,
Yemen, Syria, Lebanon through Hezbollah, Gaza through Islamic Jihad, and perhaps
will return to supporting Hamas.”