BEIRUT

Middle East

Israel aiding Syria refugees on Turkish, Jordan borders

New Syrian refugees are seen at Al-Bashabshy Refugee camp, in Al-Rumtha, Jordan, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (AP Photo/ Mohammad Hannon)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israeli aid groups are working with Western organizations to provide humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey and Jordan, MP Ayoob Kara told AFP on Thursday.

"We have found a way, with voluntary organizations from Israel that are now on the borders of Jordan and Turkey with Syria, to provide humanitarian help to the Syrians who are there," Kara said.

"My advisers are also in Jordan to try to find a way to help the refugees in Jordan," he added, saying that Israeli volunteer groups had been working in Turkey and Jordan for the past two months.

Kara stressed that the aid was humanitarian, with Israeli groups providing "food, medicine, a lot of help."

And he said the organizations involved were non-governmental groups working under the auspices of European institutions to assist Syrian refugees in the border areas.

"This is not the government, it's volunteers," he said, declining to identify the groups involved.

"They are Israelis but they don't work there as Israelis, they work with the European groups there."

Kara said the Israeli government was wary of being seen to aid the opposition groups fighting to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose country is a sworn enemy of Israel.

"If we are part of the conflict, it's a danger for all the region, all the world," he said.

But Kara said he was eager to see the Jewish state provide humanitarian assistance, where possible.

"It is important for us that when there are big problems in our neighbor states, we are helping," he said.

Kara, a member of Israel's Druze minority who belongs to the right-wing Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the governments of Jordan and Turkey "know about the work of the Israeli organizations."

And the deputy said he was working with Jordan and the Israeli government on the possibility of bringing wounded Syrian refugees to the Jewish state for treatment.

 

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