Although Israel provides medical assistance to Syrian civilians, it fails to offer them a safe haven, writes Dr Nizar Ayoub. Syrian opposition fighters are grateful for the help, says Judy Samuel
Priti Patel’s visit to an Israeli army base in the occupied Golan temporarily put this usually forgotten territory in the headlines (Report, 10 November). However, despite the international coverage, there has been little attention paid to two important issues: the return of injured civilians and fighters to Syria following Israeli medical treatment, and the situation of the remaining Syrian population in the Golan who now mark the 50th year of living under occupation.
First, although Israel provides medical assistance to Syrian civilians, it fails to offer them a safe haven – as required by international law – and instead sends them back to a conflict zone. Israel is also the only country neighbouring Syria that has not taken any Syrian refugees. Fighters from Syria who receive medical assistance from Israel also re-join hostilities rather than being prevented from participating again in military operations, as required by international law.