Israel to start treating sick Syrians in its own hospitals

Israel is to expand its humanitarian assistance to internally-displaced Syrians who have been uprooted by the five-year civil war and are stuck in camps near the Syria-Israel border,Channel 10 reported on Wednesday.

In addition to treating rebel fighters wounded in the conflict, Israeli hospitals will now begin treating the sick. The first busload of patients, numbering around 60 Syrians — mostly children — is set to arrive at a hospital in Safed, northern Israel, soon.

The initiative will see one bus a day crossing from Syria into Israel to receive basic medical care, with patients returning to Syria once they have completed their treatment, according to Channel 10.

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The plan, which was revealed on Tuesday, comes as tensions along the Israel-Syria border are on the rise. Numerous instances of spillover artillery from the civil war landing in the Israeli Golan Heights — including three mortars falling on Tuesday alone — have been responded to with strikes from the Israeli Air Force.

Almost a million internally-displaced Syrians are currently languishing in the Syrian Golan Heights, Channel 10 says. Israel’s security establishment, which has been monitoring the situation, finally decided that providing medical care to wounded members of Syria’s various rebel factions was no longer sufficient.

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While the plan currently only provides for Syrians to be treated at medical centers in northern Israel, Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara is trying to include hospitals central Israel in the proposal as well.

The Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa disclosed at the end of August that it had treated around 140 Syrian citizens over the last three years, both adults and minors, who had been wounded in fighting between rebel organizations and the Syrian army.

Dozens more wounded have been treated at hospitals in Safed and Nahariya. According to Channel 10, medical centers across Israel’s north have reported a loss of around NIS 100 million as a result of treating victims of the Syrian civil war.

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