Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri urged Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday to convene an emergency session of the UN Security Council to discuss the civilian casualties and reports of massacres in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
“During the Holocaust six million Jews were killed and the world was silent. We, as Jews, cannot remain silent in light of the horrors that have occurred for almost six years in Syria, “said Deri. “The increase in massacres in Aleppo obliges us as Jews, as a people who suffered a terrible Holocaust and grave massacres, to raise a public outcry,” he stated.
Aleppo has been a flashpoint in the bloody civil war that grew out of the Arab Spring of 2011 between Syrian rebels and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
On Monday, December 12, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Major-General Igor Konashenkov said the Syrian government had regained control of 96 percent of Aleppo’s territory since its forces had entered the eastern part of the city in November.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported Monday that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, with massive support from Russian air strikes and Iranian Shi’ite militias, had taken the Sheikh Saeed district in eastern Aleppo after fierce fighting that began Sunday afternoon.
The United Nations Office of Human Rights says it has evidence that 82 civilians were shot on sight in eastern Aleppo when pro-government forces entered their homes. Thousands more fled the city ahead of Assad’s takeover.
The fall of Aleppo could mark the approaching final days of the Syrian rebel armies, bringing Syria closer to an end of the civil war and a return of Assad regime control over the country’s five major cities.
The last attempt by the United Nations to impose a seven-day humanitarian truce came on December 6. It was an attempt to permit the removal of wounded and sick from the city and delivery of food and medicine to those within. The effort, however, was met with a veto by both the Russian Federation and China.
Israel’s strategy with regards to the Syrian civil war has been one of neutrality and non-intervention. The IDF has restricted its actions to providing medical support in the form of a field hospital in the Golan Heights, and thwarting the transfers of weapons of mass destruction to Lebanese-based Hezbollah through war-torn Syria, with the tacit agreement of Russia.
Minister Deri did not say how Israel, which does not have a seat on the Security Council, could convene the body, nor did he elaborate on how such a session would overcome the current deadlock.
Ilana Messika at TPS contributed content for this article.Hana Levi Julian