— Luke Baker (@LukeReuters) January 24, 2017
It happens nearly every night. After dark, the Syrian wounded come to known locations on the Israel-Syria front in the Golan Heights, driven by desperation to seek help from an enemy army.
Israel refuses to accept refugees fleeing the nearly six-year conflict in Syria, a country with which it remains technically at war. But it has allowed in more than 2,600 Syrians for medical care.
“We’re doing everything we can to save their lives, to stabilize them and evacuate them to hospital,” said Captain Aviad Camisa, deputy chief medical officer of the Golan brigade.
The medics lift the wounded men onto an army ambulance which slowly drives off down a dirt road.
A Syrian family — two grandparents, a mother, father and a child aided by a walker — pass by as they prepare to cross back into Syria in the dead of night.
“Some of the stories stir your emotions. When children come, as a father, it touches me personally,” Camisa said.
Those who spoke to Reuters at Ziv medical Center in Safed, northern Israel, did so freely but asked not to be identified by name or have their faces photographed or filmed for fear of retribution back home.
“In the past we used to know Israel as our enemy. That’s what the regime used to tell us,” he said. “When we came to Israel we changed our minds, there is no enmity between us.
“In the end we discovered that our regime is the enemy of us all,” he said, referring to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
The story is accompanied by some great photos like these.
See the slideshow here.
Of course, old habits die hard for Reuters, and they can’t be totally positive when it comes to Israel – ascribing alterior motives to our compassionate actions.
The Israeli army helped facilitate access to the hospital, perhaps concerned to counter the negative image it has in most of the Arab world.