Approximately 200 displaced Syrians, some waving white flags, approached the border fence with Israel yesterday.
They tried to cross into Israel from near the Syrian village of Bariqu, in the southern province of Quneitra, but were given instructions delivered in Arabic through a megaphone to stop advancing and to return to their camp where Israel would help them.
Yediot Ahronoth conducted a telephone interview with one of the refugees, a 40-year-old woman, who said: “Let us through! Save us! Assad’s soldiers are going to slaughter us.” She added: “I have to get through. I and my family — there are only eight of us. Let us cross the border. When the situation in Syria settles down we’ll go back.”
Israel continues to run an aid programme to help Syrians displaced by the civil war, but will not let refugees enter the country. In early July 2018, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) delivered to the Syrian side over 300 tents, along with 13 tonnes of food, 15 tonnes of baby food, three pallets of medical equipment and medicine and 30 tonnes of clothing and footwear.
In 2017, Israel worked with international aid organisations to open a clinic along the border in which it has treated approximately 6,000 Syrian patients.
Yesterday, a collection of toys, clothes, footwear, food and other items was taken up on behalf of the refugees in Kibbutz Elrom, which is located just a few kilometres from the Syrian border. The Golan Regional Council will deliver the packages with the assistance of the IDF’s Good Neighbour Administration, which was established to help refugees.
The Syrian regime and its Russian allies have been bombing Quneitra, the closest province to the Golan Heights’ border since Saturday in a bid to retake it. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that air strikes yesterday killed 14 civilians in Ain al-Tina village on Quneitra’s border with Daraa. Overnight, the regime fired scores of rockets at the village of Nawa.
Early on Wednesday morning incoming rocket sirens blared across the Golan Heights, sending Israeli residents scrambling to bomb shelters in what was later determined to have been a false alarm.