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December 3, 2013 4:21 pm

Defense Minister Ya’alon Says Israel is Providing Humanitarian Aid to Syrian Villages

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Benjamin Netanyahu and Moshe Ya'alon observe a war drill in the Golan Heights, June 26, 2013. Photo: Israel GPO.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Tuesday that Israel is providing humanitarian aid to the civilian population of Syria, sending food and water to the villages, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

“We can not sit by in the face of humanitarian difficulties – not while they need preparations for winter and for other needs we can work to help them with,” Ya’alon said during a tour of Israel’s northern border on Tuesday. “In light of the fact that the villages here are besieged and have no access to other places, we are assisting them for humanitarian reasons, so we give water, food, baby food and humanitarian assistance.”

Ya’alon also addressed an incident on Monday wherein Israeli soldiers were shot at from across the northern border. He said that Israel would respond and punish all those who have impinged on its sovereignty. On Monday morning, a mortar bomb struck the Majdal Shams area and militants opened fire at an IDF patrol.

“We see that the situation is going to improve,” Ya’alon said.”The incident was a local initiative of a Syrian soldier who aimed a weapon and fired at the Israeli position, no one will violate our sovereignty, and whoever tries to violate it will get hurt.”

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Israel’s Defense Minister also spoke about relations with the U.S. and the differences of opinion between Jerusalem and Washington over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.

People “have exaggerated by saying ‘we lost the Americans,'” Ya’alon said. We have an “excellent relationship based on shared values “‹”‹and interests. Even among friends with common interests, there can be differences. There was certainly disagreement between ourselves and the US administration on the Iranian issue and we voiced our opinion.”

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