(JNi.Media) The IDF has played a significant role in aiding Syrians afflicted by Basha al-Assad’s regime in a civil war that has raged on for years with hundreds of thousands of casualties and refugees in its wake. On Wednesday, the IDF revealed the extent of its humanitarian aid efforts, which include half a million liters of diesel fuel, 77 tons of clothing and shoes, 360 tons of food and a large amount of generators and water systems, according to Ynet.
The supplies were sent to 200,000 Syrians in areas around the Golan Heights that are currently held by rebel forces and not controlled by ISIS.
The efforts began a year ago with the Bashan division of the IDF which operates in the region. Once neighboring villages heard about the humanitarian aid offered by the IDF, others wanted to take part and announcements about where they could get help were made through the muezzin that summoned Syrians to prayer.
Care is taken when transporting good which are protected close to the border. From this location they are taken to the eastern side of a fence and are collected by Syrians in need. Communication is often directly with Syrians to prevent hostile interference. The flour provided by the IDF has reduced bread prices by 50 percent.
Children are given free medical services as well as fun activities, food and clothing. Foreign donors fund the bulk of these activities with some contributions from the IDF. The Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders has not been involved in these efforts because they are concerned their activities in Jordan and Turkey would be limited, according to Ynet.
There have also been private initiatives, such as by residents of Gush Etzion who have donated truckloads of clothing and baby supplies to Syrians in need.
Medical assistance has been provided to 3,000 Syrians. A new clinic will be constructed at the border with medical supplies funded by the U.S. In addition a field hospital will be built that will treat 50 people a day and will be under the direction of an International NGO.
In addition to humanitarian aid, the IDF has been reportedly providing ongoing assistance of ammunition and salaries for local commanders to the tune of $5,000 a month. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, would not comment on these details, but simply stated that Israel is, “committed to securing the borders of Israel and preventing the establishment of terror cells and hostile forces … in addition to providing humanitarian aid to the Syrians living in the area.”