Israeli Reservists Demand to Be Sent to Help Wounded Syrians

Reserve medics send letter to IDF chief, saying that despite security issues, morality demands that they offer medical assistance.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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Israeli army medical staff tend to a Syrian man wounded in the violence in Syria in a military hospital located in the Golan Heights on February 18, 2014.
An archive photo from February 2014 shows Israeli army medical staff tending to a Syrian man wounded in the violence in Syria in a military hospital in the Golan Heights.Credit: Menahem Kahana, AFP
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Doctors in the Israeli army reserve demanded Saturday that the Israel Defense Forces call them up and send them to Syria to treat people wounded in the civil war.

In a letter to IDF Chief-of-Staff Gadi Eisenkot, doctors from the Paratroopers Brigade said that soldiers cannot just be passive "witnesses" to the "indiscriminate slaughter" taking place in Syria.

"We know there are security considerations, and we know there are diplomatic considerations. But there is a principle, there is a truth, and there is morality: We must demand from ourselves to be there for them," Israeli news site 04040 quoted the doctors as writing.

The letter, which has yet to be received by the IDF's top brass, will also be sent to the head of the Israeli army's medical corps.

Israel has given medical care to over 2,600 Syrians, some in special field hospitals set up along the border, but also in Israeli medical centers. A special directorate that offers humanitarian aid to Syrians has also been established recently.

Erez EshelCredit: Kobi Gideon / GPO

Erez Eshel, a reserve lieutenant colonel, took to Facebook with a similar demand. "Is it not only proper that we organize 1,000 combat reserve officers to go to the Prime Minister's Office during a cabinet meeting and tell them: 'Mr. prime minister, we are ready to go to war, now in Syria; we are ready to kill and be killed, just to stop the slaughter of women and children taking place there now?"

Eshel is considered close to figures in the ruling Likud party and the right-wing Habayit Hayehudi party.

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