A senior Israel Defense Forces officer revealed Monday that Israel has stopped treating members of an extremist Syrian rebel group wounded in that country’s ongoing civil war. The policy change concerning the Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front was made about six weeks ago.
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According to the officer, a number of injured Nusra Front fighters had received medical treatment in Israel. The officer described those injured as having “infiltrated” into Israel to receive the treatment. However, the army’s background checks on the injured had not been thorough, he admitted. According to the officer, since the policy change the army has been checking the identity of everyone entering Israel for medical treatment.
The change took place a month after Israeli Druze ambushed wounded Syrian rebels being transported in IDF ambulances, killing one of the men. Five members of the Druze community were later arrested on suspicion of murder.
The officer responded to complaints voiced by some members of the Druze community in Israel that security forces are assisting the Al-Nusra Front, which executed over 20 Druze in a Syrian village last June.
“Israel didn’t give one shekel or one bullet to Al-Nusra members. There were individuals who infiltrated to receive medical treatment,” the officer said. “That ceased a month-and-a-half ago, and there have not been any more.”
According to the officer, if an injured person would arrive from the fighting at the border, he would receive treatment from IDF doctors – as would be expected of any doctor – but not necessarily be transported into Israel territory to receive medical treatment in a hospital.