The Syrian opposition thanked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the weekend for his visit this past week to an IDF field hospital where wounded Syrians are being treated.
Leaders of the opposition who spoke to Kol Yisrael radio said that Netanyahu's public support for wounded Syrians sends an important message to the Syrian people, particularly after the failure of recent talks in Geneva between the opposition and the regime in Damascus.
Syrian opposition leader Muhammad Badie, who spoke to Kol Yisrael’s Arab affairs correspondent from Istanbul, said that he and his friends would like to thank all those who are working to help the Syrian people struggle against the regime.
The last Israeli official to be praised by the Syrian rebels was Housing Minister Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home party.
In September, one of the rebel leaders in northern Syria expressed his appreciation for Ariel’s comments regarding the chemical attack near Damascus last August. Ariel had said that, as Jews who suffered during the Holocaust, Israelis could not be silent over what was going on in Syria.
“Allow me to send a message of thanks and appreciation to Housing Minister Uri Ariel for his humane and valuable statements and for his beautiful expression of emotion toward the children killed in Syria and toward the women being killed in Syria,” the Syrian rebel leader told Channel One News at the time.
Israel has more than once clarified that it is not a part of the civil war in Syria and does not take sides in the fighting, but Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, likely in an effort to win the support of the Syrian people, has claimed that Israel is assisting the rebels fighting to topple his regime.
A commander in the Syrian opposition recently claimed the exact opposite, that Israel was collaborating with Iran and Hezbollah to keep Assad in power.