Published On: Thu, Jul 28th, 2016

American-Jewish organization prepares to deliver aid to Syria

The IDF is looking into a request by humanitarian organization ‘Amalia’ seeking permission to transfer aid to Syrian territory under rebel control; Operations expected to begin in coming weeks; Head of organization: ‘It is important to show the world and Syrians who we, Israelis, are.’

Israeli Wissotzky tea and canola oil in Syria

After more than five years of civil war in Syria, Israel likely to allow a Jewish-American humanitarian aid organization to provide assistance to the Syrian civilians entangled in the violence.

The organization, Amalia, headed by businessman Motti Kahane, is seeking to establish a “safe zone” near the border in order to return some semblance of normality to its residents which has been utterly crippled by onset of the bloody war.

While there is no Syrian military presence in the area, there are local rebel organization.

The aim of the organization is to rebuild the civilian community of Quneitra in south-western Syria and to operate on three levels: Firstly, to deliver medical supplies and to build a field hospital which will enable civilians to receive treatment without having to pass the border. Secondly, the organization aims to repair educational institutions so that children can once again return to schools. Finally, the organization will deliver food and other essential goods.

An IDF spokesperson said, “We will look into cooperation with the different humanitarian aid organizations for the Syrian population.”

Kahane told Ynet that he believed that the efforts would serve as a positive example of the Israeli humanitarian ethos: “It is important to show the world and the Syrians who we Israelis are. The situation there is harder than in Gaza and it is important that the help comes from everybody. The organization is in need of international assistance, ” he said.

“We are not for Assad or for ISIS. It is important that the Syrian people understand this so that can be friendship between the sides, ” Kahane continued.

Food packages from Israel to Syrian rebels


If the humanitarian activities are approved by Israel, organizers will begin working in the coming weeks in cooperation with the IDF.

Last month controversy broke out in the Arab media and on social networks after pictures were uploaded showing Israeli food products being brought into Quneitra, vast swathes of which controlled by Syrian opposition forces. While rebel organizations, including the ‘Free Syrian Army’ benefit from the aid and encourage its continuation, other rebel forces attacked the initiative: “It is an insult to receive food from the Zionist entity which abuses the Golan Heights, ” one organization said.

The pictures were also obtained by various media networks identifying with the rebel forces as well as those affiliated with the Syrian regime. Both sides used the pictures to demonstrate Israel’s cooperation with their respective oppponents. The aid packages included items such as packets of rice and flour which was likely delivered to Syria from Israel. However, it is unknown when or by whom.

‘Al-Quds Al-Arabi’ newspaper quoted an official in the field claiming that this was not the first time that Israeli aid had been transferred to the areas under rebel control. “The aid started getting in in 2013 and the pace at which it did so grew after Jordan closed its border with Syria.”

The same official explained that the aid triggered an exchange of accusations between the different rebel groups which sought to portray the recipients of the aid as traitors and ‘collaborators’ of Zionism.

Ynet News

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