Report: Israel okays historic plan to absorb child refugees from Syria war

The reported move would signify the first time Israel opens its doors to refugees from neighboring Syria, with which it is still technically at war.

January 26, 2017 11:57
1 minute read.
syrian refugees

Syrian refugee children pose as they play near their families' residence at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, January 30, 2016.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel has agreed, for the first time, to grant asylum to some 100 children orphaned in Syria’s bloody civil war, The Jerusalem Post confirmed on Thursday.

Interior Minister Arye Deri recently approved the humanitarian plan under which Israel would absorb the child refugees, according to a report on Channel 10 news that the Interior Ministry confirmed is accurate.

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The youngsters have yet to enter Israel, but the plan are said to entail an initial three-month accommodation of the children in dormitories. In the following stage, the orphans will be integrated into Education Ministry institutions and also possibly taken in by foster and adoptive families.

The children will be brought to Israel with temporary residency status, Channel 10 reported. That status will allow them to receive Israeli identification cards, however it will not immediately qualify them for national passports. It was not initially clear if the Syrian children residing in Israel would be able to apply for travel documents in lieu of passports.

Under the initiative, the state plans to inform the United Nations that after four years of residency in the country, the children will become eligible for permanent residency status, authorizing their indefinite legal stay in Israel.

In addition, the government is reportedly considering residency sponsorship parameters to allow the legal immigration of the orphaned children’s immediate family members.

After nearly six years of war, tens of millions of Syrians have fled their homes, including millions who have left the country. Hundreds of thousands have been killed.
Under cover of the night, Syrians seek help, receive medical treatment from Israel

Israel has allowed more than 2,600 Syrians in for medical care. Israel has, however, thus far refused to accept refugees from Syria, with which it is at war.

After the brutal battles in Aleppo late last year, the government began looking into taking in Syrian orphans from the devastated city, either for a short or lengthier period of time, an official said this week. Yet, the source added that project is still far off if it does eventually happen.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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