Israeli Army Says it Treated Wounded Syrians
[An Nahar] The Israeli army on Saturday evacuated seven Syrians wounded in clashes on the Golan Heights and took them to a hospital inside the Jewish state, where they were being treated for their injuries.
A spokeswoman for the Ziv hospital in Safed told Agence France Presse the army had on Saturday afternoon brought in seven wounded people, all of whom have been operated on.
"One is seriously wounded, even critically wounded; the other six are in moderate condition," she said, adding that they were all still in hospital.
A military spokeswoman earlier told AFP that Israeli "soldiers provided medical care to five injured Syrians adjacent to the security fence" on the Golan Heights and transferred them to a hospital for further medical treatment."
The army later corrected the number of wounded Syrians to seven.
Neither the army nor the hospital would provide details on the nature of their wounds or any political affiliations.
An unnamed military official was cited on public radio as saying that Israel had a policy of providing humanitarian aid to refugees, while keeping the border sealed tight against hostile elements.
The official also told public radio Israel had prepared designated zones near the border to receive Syrian refugees, under the auspices of the United Nations.
Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon told Channel 2 television that Saturday's intervention was "an isolated incident on humanitarian grounds of wounded people who reached the border."
He stressed that this did not reflect a change in Israel's stance which does not wish to be involved in the Syrian conflict, nor does it welcome a possible deluge of refugees from the war-torn land.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday that rebels overran a military police checkpoint at the Golan Heights town of Khan Arnabeh just beyond the outer ceasefire line along the demilitarized zone bordering Israel.
Regime forces responded by shelling Khan Arnabeh and the nearby village of Jubata al-Khashab, inside the ceasefire zone.
Posted by: Fred 2013-02-17