Three Syrian civilians who were severely wounded in battle across the Syrian border were transported Saturday to Israel for medical treatment.
The three, who suffered from shrapnel and gunshot wounds, were transferred to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed. It is unclear whether they took part in the fighting.
Over 100 Syrian citizens have been treated in Israel since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war two years ago, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday. According to the report, the Israeli government had downplayed the number of admitted patients, fearing that it would lead to an increase in refugees.
Five Syrians remain hospitalized at Ziv besides the injured trio admitted Saturday.
Earlier this month, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon confirmed for the first time that Israel is operating a field hospital on the Syrian border. He said the IDF was transferring severely wounded Syrian nationals to Israeli hospitals for treatment. Initial reports of an IDF field hospital in the Golan Heights surfaced in February.
“Our policy is to help in humanitarian cases, and to that end we are operating a field hospital along the Syrian border,” Ya’alon told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. “In cases where there are badly wounded, we transfer them to Israeli hospitals. We have no intention of opening refugee camps.”
The IDF has kept secret the identities of Syrian nationals treated in Israel.
Ilan Ben Zion and Adiv Sterman contributed to this report