For the first time, Syrian refugees have received medical treatment in an Israel hospital, including one in critical condition who was taken directly into surgery upon reaching the hospital. Initial reports of five wounded quickly updated to seven, and all were evacuated Saturday night to Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat.
The refugees were allowed in after being wounded in clashes between opposition forces and troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, near the Syrian border with Israel, in the Golan Heights, and were brought across the border by the IDF. “They asked for humanitarian aid and Israel extended its assistance,” explained top Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad.
Earlier Saturday it was reported that Syrian opposition forces had seized a police installation in Syria near the Golan Heights, very close to Israel’s northern border.
Syrian activists have confirmed clashes in the Quneitra region, situated on the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria, in the Golan Heights. Syrian opposition sources said rebels captured a military police position at Han Arnabeh, located northeast of Quneitra, not far from the Israeli border. Voice of Israel public radio said the rebels captured one tank and disabled a second, and seized other weapons as well.
"IDF soldiers stationed in the area can clearly see what's happening over there," one source told Arutz Sheva late Saturday night on condition of anonymity. "It's easy to see the missile and mortar fire and to hear the explosions and gunshots going back and forth. There's some pretty fierce fighting going on, and it's not far from us," he said.
The critically-wounded Syrian patient is currently listed in serious condition. A number of his companions also underwent surgery, and are listed in moderate condition. Their status is not clear, and it is still not known whether the seven are members of the opposition or are soldiers loyal to the regime.
An IDF spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity the seven were first treated by army medics near the northern security fence along the border where they arrived Saturday afternoon with a group of other refugees attempting the flee the violence.
It is also not clear where the other Syrians went, though it is likely they crossed into Jordan, which has developed at least some provisions for accepting the refugees with the assistance of the United Nations.