The IDF announced that it had transferred hundreds of aid packages collected by Israeli residents of the Golan Heights to Syrian refugees who have been forced from their homes in southern Syria in recent weeks, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.
In recent weeks, hundreds of aid packages were donated by the Golan Regional Council. The aid packages included food, and medical supplies, as well as gift packages containing toys, crayons, and personal notes from children.
Under Operation Good Neighbor, the IDF delivered the packages in two military operations to refugee camps in the northern and southern Syrian Golan Heights.
“For six years, a cruel war that has claimed the lives of more than 500,000 people has been taking place in Syria, and the world remains quiet in the face of this horror. We, the residents of the Golan, look right over the fence and see the people fleeing from the killing fields together with their children, and clinging to the fence with Israel,” said Eli Malka, the head of the Golan Regional Council, who coordinated the effort to collect the packages.
“We feel the moral obligation, in accordance with our values, to send humanitarian aid and as much as is possible to build a relationship of humanity with those who have always been our neighbors on the other side of the fence. The residents of the Golan have come together wholeheartedly to raise and collect supplies, and make personal gift bags for the Syrian children, to give them a moment of happiness in a great chaos,” he added.
Israelis in the Golan Heights prepare and deliver care packages for displaced Syrians, despite the fact Syria is legally in a state of war with Israel. Thanks to the #IDF's "Operation Good Neighbor" these small acts of kindness by Israelis were delivered this week to Syrians! pic.twitter.com/GPekYkVoh9
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) July 11, 2018
Lt. Col. E, who commands Operation Good Neighbor, said that the opportunity to aid the Syrians is “unique and exciting.”
He explained that the operation changes perceptions about Israel, saying, “The Bashan Division is responsible for preserving the security of the residents of the State of Israel, and of the Golan Heights in particular, and through the Good Neighbor command it carries out the mission of defending them in partnership with the citizens (of the area). All of this was done for our neighbors on the other side of the fence, who have been educated to hate Israel and everything related to it, and in recent years have understood that the only country which has aided them was the same one they feared.”
[Photo: StandWithUs / Twitter]