How Syrian Rebels and Their Families Find Themselves in Israeli Hospitals

June 22 2017

Since 2013, over 3,000 Syrians have been brought to Israeli hospitals to receive medical treatment. In most cases, they are taken to the border fence separating the two countries and then transported by Israeli military personnel. Coordinating the effort is Salman Zarka, a Druze physician and IDF veteran who credits medical ethics, Jewish and Druze religious values, and the memory of the Holocaust for the Jewish state’s decision to engage in this humanitarian endeavor. Terry Glavin explains how it works:

Israel’s border with Syria runs the length of the Golan Heights to a total of 76 kilometers, but it’s only those portions of the Israeli-Syrian frontier controlled by the Free Syrian Army and competing Islamist groups that wounded and sick Syrians are brought to IDF posts along the border fence.

What this means is that it is quite possible that jihadists with a fanatical hatred of Jews and of Israel are being treated at the Ziv Medical Center in Safed and the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, as well as other Israeli medical facilities. The policy is simple: don’t ask. Everyone is to be treated according to Israeli medical standards and practices. . . .

The flipside is that when the Syrians are discharged from hospital and brought back to the Syrian border—and they all want to go back, to be with their families or to take up the fight again—great care is taken to conceal the Israeli origin of everything in the “care packages” they’re given. No Hebrew lettering on medications. No evidence of Israeli origin on anything. Collaboration with “the Zionist entity” invites a jihadist death sentence, and much the same from the Assad regime.

The Syrians taken in by Israel are often suffering from the most atrocious kinds of war wounds—severed limbs, bomb-blasted faces, collapsed internal organs—and they’re not all fighters. Many are children, and many are suffering from ailments not directly related to guns or bombs. The Syrian American Medical Society counted 252 attacks on Syrian health centers last year, almost all of them carried out by Assad’s forces and Russian fighters. . . .

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Read more at Maclean's

More about: Druze, Israel & Zionism, Judaism, Syrian civil war

 

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela