Israel Said to Be Passing Massive Amounts of Aid to Syrian Refugees

YERUSHALAYIM -
View of a Syrian refugee camp, near Tel Fares in the Golan Heights, Northern Israel. June 27, 2014. Photo by Ancho Gosh/FLASH90 *** Local Caption *** îçðä ôìéèéí ñåøéí áñîåê ìúì ôàøñ áâåìï
View of a Syrian refugee camp, near Tel Fares in the Golan Heights. (Ancho Gosh/Flash90)

In an interview with Makor Rishon, Israeli-American businessman Moti Kahana said that the organization he established to assist Syrian civilians has been sending “hundreds of aid packages a day” to families over the border. Kahana said that his objective was to establish a “secure zone” on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, where families devastated by the ongoing civil war could get assistance.

The packages are delivered by volunteers working with the IDF to an area of the Golan controlled by the Free Syrian Army. Kahana said that he could not give details of the operation, just like he could not give details of the volunteers – which he recruited via Amalia, a humanitarian rights group he heads – because “we need to keep this operation under the radar.”

He did say that Amalia had enough experience on the ground to ensure that the packages reached civilians and not militiamen for the Islamist groups operating in Syria. There are few such groups in the area of the Golan, said Kahana.

The care packages are 100 percent Israeli, and are marked as such. “Five years ago, having Israeli-made products in Syria could have been a problem, but this is no longer an issue in Syria. In addition, this helps Israel with its image.” The aid “lets the Syrian people see who we Israelis really are. The situation there is worse than in Gaza, and everyone has to help.”

In addition, the operation helps keep peace in the area, “which is an Israeli interest,” said Kahana. “There are thousands of Syrians who have been treated in Israeli hospitals and thousands of others who get our packages. They understand what Israel is. It may take time to change their outlook, however, because of the education they have received about how terrible Israel is.”