Israel is offering humanitarian aid to Syria and Turkey following the recent earthquake in the region. The offer is being welcomed by the Syrian public, who have responded positively to the gesture. The government of Israel is leading the way in providing aid, along with other countries and the United Nations.
The Israeli government has expressed hope that this gesture will be a prelude to resolving issues between the State of Israel and Syria.
Syrian Kurdish dissident Mahmoud Abbas stated in an exclusive interview with Israel Today:
“The world was shaken by the news of the Kahraman-Maraş earthquake, which hit large areas of southern Turkey and northern Syria on the night of February 5-6, 2023, with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. The government of Israel was at the forefront of countries offering its services and providing logistical and humanitarian assistance, bypassing all kinds of conflicts and national, religious and political hostility between it and the two afflicted countries.
“This gesture by the government of Israel without being asked directly, along with dozens of countries and the United Nations, is built on the civilized human sense that must be characteristic of all political forces in our region mired in conflicts and becomes a general culture among its peoples. Humanity is facing one of the recurring natural disasters throughout history, and what eases its burden is the amount of sympathy and actual solidarity with the people of the two afflicted countries (the majority of whom are Kurdish people, just as the region is the southwestern part of Kurdistan) as offered by the government of Israel, sending aid and providing relief of all kinds.
“In the face of this catastrophe, no one should reject this humanitarian offer by the government of Israel. We hope that the Bashar al-Assad regime will not try to obtain normalization with the aiding countries. Rather, this gesture will be a gateway to harmony in the region, and a prelude to the cessation of conflict and hatred between them and Israel and the Jewish people, and a prelude to resolving the issues between the State of Israel and Palestine [sic].”
Former Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara explained to Israel Today:
“I think that it is important to take humanitarian steps. For years, Israel has been at the forefront of the humanitarian effort in Syria. We are the only humanitarian state operating in Syria. We treat many injured people from the civil war and we continue to do it. I am also starting with other projects to bring people in the middle of the night from the borders of Syria and bring them back. It is very expensive, but we found a solution for that. I appreciate that all of the world helps us with that. Most of the people of Syria hate Iran and they do not need Iran. They prefer Israel to Iran.
“I think that Israel, more than at any other time, is today more popular than any of the surrounding countries. Humanitarian steps show the positive face of Israel, which Iran tries to darken all the time. I call on all of the Middle East to start helping the citizens of Syria. This process can push the regime in Iran to stop its control of its public. We [Israel] should offer economic and other forms of humanitarian cooperation with Syria.”
Syrian activist Daad Essa Mammary told Israel Today that the Syrian public has responded well to the proposal of Israel sending humanitarian aid to Syria:
“From my friends on Facebook, I started to hear that Israel was never our enemy. This idea was made up. Israel was always a friend and we belong together.
“I was a teacher in Syria in the 1960’s and I did not have to wear a headscarf. After the 1960’s I left Syria because they wanted to make me stop teaching English and they wanted to make me seem like a bad teacher. Today, people want to go back to the way that Syria used to be and I believe the people appreciate the relationship between the Jewish and Syrian people. That is increasing.
“I thank the Israelis for wanting to help the poor Syrian people. We had enough. We are people living without electricity, water or any means of life. Most of our homes are not built right. They cannot handle any natural catastrophe like this. Nobody can say anything, but nothing is right. We are poor people. We love God. We respect him. I believe in God. I pray to God. The conflict is man-made by the evil powers. I pray for Israel. I ask God to help Israel and to help the Syrian people. We are suffering a lot.
“Syrians were already buried under the rubbles of their homes. The earthquake made it worse. But God loves us. He created his people. He created all human beings. He created them in his image. He created them to live. He gave them nature to enjoy, not to be killed. God’s love is endless and is forever. He wants to bring us back to him. God is able, no matter how evil the world gets. God is stronger than the evil ones. The poor Syrian people deserve better. They have suffered enough.”
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