When, in February 2013, for the first time a wounded Syrian came to the Israeli border in order to ask for help, the Israeli army helped without questions. Since then, many Syrians were accepted into Israel to receive medical help.
After some time it was decided to erect a field hospital at the Syrian border, to be able to help more effectively. This marked the beginning of the humanitarian aid mission “Good Neighbor”.
In the official blog of the Israeli Army one can read, how it exactly came about and which kind of help is offered.
The beginnings of “Good Neighbor”
Since 2013 the 210th Division of the IDF is securing Israel’s northern borders and watches the situation. As the crisis in Syria worsened more and more, and Syrians repeatedly came to the border to ask for help, the decision was made by the Israeli Army, to do more for their neighbors. In June 2016 the operation “Good Neighbor” was launched – a humanitarian mission aiming to help wounded Syrians, without getting involved in the armed conflict.
No diplomatic relations are maintained between Israel and Syria, the IDF’s obligation to help is a moral one. “We must not forget, this operation is a moral stance taken by the State of Israel with regard to the situation of the Syrians across the border,” stated Lt. Col. A, Commander of Operation Good Neighbor.
The operation aims to meet the most crucial needs of the Syrians – to heal their physical and mental health wounds.
Throughout Operation Good Neighbor, the IDF has helped establish two medical centers near the border and a field clinic in the southern Golan Heights – the Mazor Ladach field hospital, which was donated by an American organization, the Frontier Alliance International.
In the last year, the Israeli Army provided 2,124 containers of medicine and 400 medical devices, which helped 685 Syrian children.
“Take, for example, a Syrian mother who comes with her children. At the end of the day, she leaves the clinic with healthier children and an aid kit from the State of Israel that includes food, basic hygiene products, and medicine. A day at the clinic also includes time in the playroom and a hot meal. The Syrians also understand that the State of Israel is doing a great thing for them,” so Lt. Col. A.
In addition to medical assistance, the operation “Good Neighbor” provides humanitarian aid as well. For the year 2017 this meant 694 tons of food, 14,138 boxes of baby formula, 6,351 diapers, 174 tons of clothes and 12,329 hygienic products.
Due to the damaged electrical infrastructure, there is no regular electricity in Syria. Civilians are forced to use generators and other means to heat up their homes. Last year the IDF donated 13 electric generators along with 143,392 gallons of fuel, which help heating homes and cooking food. Through the war in Syria many houses, office buildings and education centers are destroyed. The In response, mobile structures were supplied by the Israeli Army to be used in place of the damaged properties.
The information above is retrieved mainly from the official blog of the IDF.