Lieberman: Israel Would Offer Aid to Syrians if Asked

FM says that even without diplomatic ties, Israel cannot sit idly by while a massacre is taking place in a neighboring country.

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has directed Eviatar Manor, head of the ministry's international organizations branch, to offer the International Red Cross humanitarian aid to Syria, his spokesman said on Sunday. The organization replied it is still evaluating the humanitarian situation in Syria and what supplies are needed, and will respond in detail.

Lieberman said that "the Jewish state cannot sit idly by while horrific acts are taking place in a neighboring country and people are losing all that is dear to them." He added that even if Israel cannot intervene in the internal affairs of a country with which it has no diplomatic ties, it is its "moral duty to at least offer humanitarian aid and call on the world to put a stop to the massacre."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman

On Saturday, Lieberman told Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev that Israel would extend humanitarian aid to Syrians during the conflict there as soon as it is asked to do so. Lieberman, who was in Bulgaria on an official visit, also told the Bulgarian president: “We must not abide the bloodshed that is going on there and the daily killing of innocent people.”

Last month, Lieberman proposed in various government forums that Israel condemn Syrian President Bashar Assad’s killing of civilians and call on Assad to resign. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak rejected Lieberman’s proposal.

Netanyahu reportedly believes that a public statement by Israel on the issue could play into Assad’s hands, allowing the Syrian president to say that Israel was behind the insurrection against him.

On a tour last month of the north, Lieberman said: “The fact that Arab MKs have not condemned what is happening in Syria is real treason, both against the Arab nation and Syria’s citizens, as well as against the State of Israel. These are the same MKs that go wild over the destruction of every illegal structure, but are silent when thousands of innocent civilians are killed.”

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