Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday that Israel has been providing aid to Syrian rebels, thus keeping the Druze in Syria out of immediate danger. Israeli officials have previously balked at confirming on the record that the country has been helping forces that are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.
During a briefing with Israel’s diplomatic correspondents at the IDF’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, Ya’alon said that Israel’s ongoing humanitarian assistance to Syrian rebel fighters, a source of growing conflict between Israel and its own Druze population, safeguards the minority population in Syria.
“We’ve assisted them under two conditions,” Ya’alon said of the Israeli medical aid to the Syrian rebels, some of whom are presumably fighting with al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. “That they don’t get too close to the border, and that they don’t touch the Druze.”
The Druze on Israel’s side of the Golan, Ya’alon charged, acted “irresponsibly” last week by attacking an Israeli ambulance carrying wounded Syrian rebel fighters. One person was killed and another wounded during what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed a “lynching.” The person in the Israeli ambulance was not affiliated with the al-Nusra Front, and his death would provoke calls for revenge, Ya’alon asserted.
Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy. Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild.
Full Story @ [timesofisrael]