Jewish Family Flees War-torn Syria and Settles in Israel

Escape facilitated by Israeli-American businessman Moti Kahana and coordinated with the Jewish Agency, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry and Israel Flying Aid.


A mixed Muslim-Jewish family escaped from Syria and settled in Israel recently with the help of humanitarian activists, the Jewish Agency and the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, the Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

The escape was facilitated by Israeli-American businessman Moti Kahana, an activist who has helped organize and fund humanitarian aid efforts in Syria since the start of its civil war. Kahana, who forged contacts within the higher ranks of the Syrian opposition over the course of years, was able to enlist their help to ensure a safe escape for the family.

The family, comprising three generations, began its escape a few months ago and arrived in Israel in two stages. They embarked on a weeks-long journey  through dangerous militant strongholds and Assad-controlled roadblocks before finally managing to leave the country for a third state. From there, they flew to Israel, with the assistance of the Jewish Agency.

Kahana also coordinated his efforts with Israel Flying Aid, an NGO that provides humanitarian support to countries in disaster which do not have diplomatic ties with Israel.

The family has settled into a government absorption center north of Tel Aviv. Once a community numbering in the thousands, only about 17 Jews now remain in Syria, all of them in Damascus.

Israel has been providing humanitarian aid to wounded rebels and civilians in Syria, in the form of supplies including food, clothing, blankets, and medical treatment, the defense establishment disclosed in December.

Hundreds of injured Syrians have been treated in Israel so far, both in hospitals in the north and in a field hospital the IDF built at a fortification near the border. Two were evacuated to an Israeli hospital in Nahariya on Thursday in moderate to serious condition.

There are roughly 9.5 million Syrian refugees today, out of a population of 22.5 million before the war.