Israel has decided to set up a field hospital for wounded Syrians on an IDF military base within the Golan Heights. This is in response to the increasingly desperate humanitarian crisis in Syria. In the past month, a number of wounded Syrians have been treated within Israeli hospitals. So far, 11 wounded Syrians have received medical assistance from within Israel itself. Eight have been sent back to Syria after successfully completing their medical treatment. With the establishment of the field hospital; more Syrian wounded are expected to be treated by Israel.

Senior level Israeli defense officials last February submitted a request to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak to grant humanitarian aid to Syrian victims of Assad’s democide. The letter called for the establishment of a field hospital on the Israeli-Syrian border that could provide medical treatment to Syrians in desperate need of medical attention. “Offering humanitarian aid is an important point that must be revisited and put on the agenda,” the letter said. “Humanitarian aid in the form of erecting a field hospital (in the buffer zone on the Golan) that will treat Syrian victims, save lives and heal the sick and wounded, can lead to a positive change in the way the Syrian population relates to the State of Israel.” Evidently, the Israeli government was responsive to this petition with the establishment of a field hospital in the Golan Heights.

The IDF military intelligence unit has already detected an increased level of violence within Syria as part of the Assad regimes’ vain attempt to hold onto power, regardless of the humanitarian cost to the Syrian people. March 2013 was reportedly the bloodiest month of the Syrian democide, with over 6,000 people being killed within that month alone, with at least one third of the dead being civilians. The increased fatalities are the result of the Assad regime escalating the crisis with increased fire and bombing directed at rebel-controlled areas. So far, since the Arab spring reached Syria, over 70,000 people have been killed. An additional 3 million people have been displaced. The situation in Syria is especially dire for women. Lauren Wolfe of Women Under Siege, rape in the Syrian conflict is used as a “tool of control, intimidation and humiliation.”

Israel has set a precedent of providing aid to foreign citizens in emergency siutations through building field hospitals. The Israeli Defense Force also set up a field hospital in Haiti after it was stuck in 2010 by an earthquake as well as in Japan after it was hit by a tsunami in 2011.

By Rachel Avraham