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Members of the Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, are seen inspecting the damage at a Roman ruin site in Daraa, Syria December 23, 2017.(Photo by: ALAA AL-FAKIR / REUTERS)
France fails to acknowledge Israel's part in White Helmets' rescue
In the official statement of the French Foreign Ministry the word 'Israel' is not mentioned.
After an unprecedented rescue of a large number of White Helmets and their families from Syria through Israel into Jordan, the French foreign ministry (quai d'orsay), in an official statement, refused to acknowledge Israel's part in the unique operation.

Member of the French Parliament Meyer Habib wrote in response: "Many Western countries have expressed their gratitude to Israel following the extraordinary humanitarian activity. Even European Union Foreign Policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who is usually hostile to Israel, expressed her appreciation.

"However, in the official statement of the French Foreign Ministry we do not even mention the word 'Israel.'"

The official French statment only noted that rescued families were now in Jordan but did not include the word "Israel" even once.

"Due to extensive international mobilization, a group of White Helmets and their families could leave Syria today, where there was a real danger to their safety," the statement read. "France has actively joined the procedures carried out by several partners to ensure the success of the operation."

Habib explained that the omission of Israel from the statement was due to strong anti-Israel sentiments which are very common among diplomats and foreign ministry officials in France.

"They'd rather ignore the facts and reality than thank Israel. It's pathetic and inappropriate.

"What credibility does our country have if our diplomats can only talk about Israel to condemn it?" he questioned.

More than 400 Syrians affiliated with the White Helmets and their families were evacuated Sunday from Quneitra through Israel to Jordan, according to the IDF.

Syrian Civil Defense, the official name of the White Helmets, is a volunteer organization that has worked in rebel areas of Syria providing medical support during the seven-yearlong Syrian civil war.

The operation was the result of a unique international effort to secure the safety of the White Helmets and their families.
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