ISRAEL - Medical Help for Over 4,000 Syrians

Arno Froese

We waited on the Israeli-Syrian border surrounded by minefields, with only the stars in the early morning as light. Suddenly lights appeared on the Syrian side, and they kept coming closer.

“Habibi!” cried a voice in the darkness.

“Habibi!” the Israeli soldier next to us responded, as other IDF troops opened the gate to the enemy country.

On the other side stood some 50 Syrians—23 children and their mothers—waiting to cross into Israel and receive free medical care as part of Israel’s Operation Good Neighbor.

Major Dr. Sergei Kotikov, one of the senior IDF officers involved in the operation, told The Jerusalem Post that this is a scene that repeats itself on a weekly basis. He should know—he has taken part in 51 such operations bringing injured and sick Syrian children into Israel.

According to Maj. Kotikov the IDF realized that Israel also needs to provide follow up visits for these children, especially those who have chronic illnesses.

“Once a week a busload of sick children come into Israel,” he said, adding that he is in contact with Syrian doctors across the border who triage the injured to determine what sort of medical care they need.

Those who arrive at the Syria-Israel border are both combatants and civilians, and according to officials some 70% of the wounded treated by Israel are men of fighting age while the other 30% are women and children.

One Syrian doctor who accompanied the sick kids and their mothers to the hospital in Nahariya told the Post that he has been doing this for the past eight months.

“I was afraid at first to come into Israel,” he said. “It was different, and it was scary because of what I learned about this country as I was growing up. But not anymore.”

“A lot of doctors are afraid to join because of the risks of being found out. But my name is already out there, people know what I am doing. I am stuck between helping these children and losing my own life. But I will continue to help.”, 19 January 2018

Arno's commentary

Most global media companies fail to highlight Israel’s humanitarian aid—to the wounded Syrians in this case. It’s just not popular. But there is much more; Israel’s humanitarian aid reaches around the globe. Israeli first aid specialists were one of the first on the scene when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Gulfport, Mississippi in August of 2005. Here the words of our Lord are appropriate: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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