Israel has sent medical assistance to Greece to help cope with the humanitarian crisis of refugees pouring in from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.
The delivery by air included 1.5 tons of medical supplies for the Greek Ministry of Health, to be distributed at the various refugee aid centers, the Israeli Embassy in Athens said.
Greece, which has its own share of economic and political problems, has been struggling to deal with upwards of 50,000 refugees and migrants who came last month.
Teams from the Israeli NGO IsraAid also have been operating in Greece since September, providing medical and psychological assistance to the refugees.
The aid shipment follows up on a statement made recently by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that while Israel could not absorb large numbers of Syrian refugees, it was not unsympathetic to the suffering of people across its border.
“You’ve forgotten what it is to be Jewish,” opposition leader Isaac Herzog accused Netanyahu at the time. “Refugees. Pursued. The prime minister of the Jewish state doesn’t close his heart nor his borders when people are escaping their pursuers, with their babies in their hands.”
“Israel is not indifferent to human tragedy; we conscientiously handled a thousand [people] who were wounded in the fighting in Syria and we have helped them rebuild their lives,” Netanyahu replied.