Ya’alon: Humanitarian Aid Only for Syrians Who Don’t Harm Druze

Defense minister insists that Israel does not support Islamists.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon.
David Bachar

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited the Golan Heights Tuesday and commented on events in Syria, the mob attack on the ambulance in Majdal Shams, the recent terror attacks in the West Bank and the Gaza flotilla.

Ya’alon said that from the start of the civil war in Syria, a decision was made to provide humanitarian aid to communities near the border. “We set two conditions – that they keep Islamist elements away from the border and that they don’t harm the Druze,” he said.

The defense minister repeated once more that Israel does not support the Nusra Front, adding that Israel was ready to grant humanitarian aid to the villagers there if they want it. He said there was no reaction on the Syrian side to the mob attack on the wounded Syrians in Majdal Shams, “due to our intervention, for one thing.”

Ya’alon noted that cooperation with the Druze leadership is effective, but acknowledged that with all the information flowing on social media, “they may not have control over hot-headed young people.”

Ya’alon described Hezbollah as an armed Iranian proxy. “Hezbollah is not challenging us. The communities near the Lebanese border are enjoying a period of quiet,” he said.

As for the terror attacks of recent days, Ya’alon said some are the result of the current atmosphere, but some are organized shooting attacks. He cited “incitement in general and incitement by the Palestinian Authority in particular” as one reason for the attacks, and said that Hamas in Istanbul, with Iranian funding, is suspected of being behind some of the attacks, adding that in the nuclear talks with Iran there is no discussion of Iran’s ongoing use of terrorist cells.

Regarding the attempt to bring aid to Gaza by sea earlier this week, Ya’alon said “all the talk of a siege is groundless,” noting that 1.6 million tons of materials for rebuilding have been delivered to Gaza since Operation Protective Edge. He also pointed out that the boat that was intercepted, the Marianne, was not carrying any humanitarian aid.