Officials from the Ziv Medical Center in the Israeli town of Safed admitted that their institution has been providing medical treatment to fighters from the Syrian opposition, regardless of their affiliation, despite the leading persistence of the Nusra Front on the Israeli border.
“The staff here don’t ask them who they are or who they belong to because once they step into the hospital, the policy is humanitarian aid,” Linda Futterman, a staffer at the Ziv Medical Center, told the Boston Herald, adding that Syrian fighters are then returned to the front by Israeli soldiers.
In the past, Israeli soldiers had been accused by the UN and the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad of aiding Syrian rebels, with UN observers witnessing Israeli soldiers handing mysterious crates to armed rebels on the Syrian border just days after the Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front took control of the Syrian Golan heights from the regime and UN peacekeeping forces.
A few weeks later, the UN observing mission in the area spotted two unidentified armed Syrian rebels being allowed entry into an Israeli military position. The same report states that for an unknown reason, Israeli soldiers set up tents capable of housing 60-70 families just 300 metres within the Nusra Front-controlled Syrian Golan Heights.
In December, military video footage emerged purportedly showing Israeli military medics in the Syrian Golan Heights performing lifesaving surgery on a Syrian fighter.
Israel’s ministry of health and military both corroborated the reports of providing medical aid to Syrian rebels regardless of their affiliation in statements given to Israeli i24news.
“In the past two years Israeli Defense Forces have been engaged in humanitarian, life-saving aid to wounded Syrians, irrespective of their identity,” a statement from the the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) read.
Israel, long at odds with the Assad regime and its ally, the Lebanese Hezbollah armed group, has conducted air strikes in Syria striking missiles given to Hezbollah and the group’s positions near the Golan Heights, killing several leading members and a general of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in one notable strike.
The Syrian side of the Golan Heights was captured by opposition forces led by the Nusra Front last August and clashes between the rebels and a unified front of Hezbollah and regime fighters.
In September, the Israeli military also downed a Syrian warplane flying over the Golan Heights using a Patriot air defence system.