Injured Syrian let into Israel for treatment

Man suffering from moderate injuries after being shot in abdomen during battle near Golan border taken to Safed hospital

The Israeli-Syrian border on the Golan Heights (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)
The Israeli-Syrian border on the Golan Heights (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

A Syrian man was allowed into Israel for medical treatment Thursday evening after being injured during ongoing battles between rebels and forces loyal to Damascus near the border with the Golan Heights.

The man, who had been shot in the abdomen, was transferred to Sieff Hospital in Safed, where he was set to undergo surgery.

It is not known if the man was a civilian or was fighting alongside rebel forces or with the Syrian army.

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz approved the man’s treatment in Israel for humanitarian reasons,” the IDF Spokesman’s Office said, adding that he would be returned to Syria after being treated.

Israel has let several injured fighters into the country for medical treatment over the last several months, but has classified the measures as humanitarian actions that do not change Jerusalem’s closed-border policy with Syria. A Syrian national who entered the country earlier this week, suffering from a gunshot wound to the hip, is recovering in Sieff Hospital’s surgical department.

Soldiers stationed along the border have also administered first aid to wounded Syrians.

Opposition forces in Syria have waged a two-year struggle to oust Syrian president Bashar Assad, with over 70,000 dead and over a million displaced in the civil war.

At a United Nations Security Council session on the conflict last week, Syrian envoy Bashar al-Ja’afari accused Israel of aiding the rebels by allowing opposition fighters into Israel for treatment and then returning them to Syria.

“Israel [has a] partnership with Salafi, Takfiri, and terrorist groups, allowing those armed groups to cross the separation line in the occupied Syrian Golan and treating their wounded in Israeli hospitals and returning them to the Syria territory through the separation line anew,” Ja’afari charged.

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