IDF tanks along the Syrian border on Golan Heights 370 (R).
(photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
The seven Syrians wounded in the upheaval gripping that country for
almost two years were
evacuated to Israel, and were all in stable condition on Sunday after surgery
at Safed’s Ziv Hospital.
Their admission came as a surprise to
Ziv, but the hospital spokesman said: “When patients come to the
emergency room, we take care of them.”
Five 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; he is now in intensive care. The other
six were in less serious condition. The Syrians are being guarded in
separate rooms, and there are Arab speakers who can communicate with
A spokesman said wounded are likely to be hospitalized for about a week, after the IDF allowed seven Syrians to enter Israel on Saturday for medical treatment.
men had arrived at the Syrian-Israeli border fence, and IDF soldiers
administered first aid on the scene, an army spokeswoman said.
then rushed to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed.
One of the Syrians was
seriously wounded, four were moderately wounded and two had light
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.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Saturday
that Israel’s decision to allow the Syrians into the country did not mark a
change in policy.
Speaking 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 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.”
One 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. Saturday’s
incident fell under one of those scenarios.
The wounded men came as
Syrian troops bombarded the demilitarized zone near Israel on Saturday in
reprisal for rebel action nearby, according to AFP.
in the day,
rebels had overrun a military police checkpoint in the town of Khan
Arnabeh, just outside the cease-fire zone on the border with
The rebels claimed to have seized a Syrian army tank, as well as
other weaponry, destroying the tank when government troops began to
The Syrian army also shelled the village of Jubata al-Khashab,
which lies inside the demilitarized zone, AFP reported.
violence in Syria has spilled over into Israeli territory on several occasions.
During fighting between army forces and rebels in November, several mortar
shells and stray bullets struck in Israel, drawing Israeli return
The IDF stated at the time that it did not believe the shooting had
Herb Keinon and Judy Siegel-Itzkovich contributed to this report.
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