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December 18, 2014 5:00 pm

Syrians Injured in Civil War and Medically Treated in Israel Fear Punishment From Assad Regime (VIDEO)

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Members of the Free Syrian Army. Photo: World Defence News.

Syrian soldiers seeking medical treatment in Israel after sustaining injuries in the country’s ongoing bloody civil war admitted that the army of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad would “punish” them for being treated in the Jewish state, VICE News reported on Thursday.

“We live within the freed areas, freed by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), out of the regime’s reach. But if the regime’s army knows we were here, they will punish us for going into Israel,” said one FSA fighter undergoing treatment at the Ziv Medical Center in Israel. “Since last year, when the wounded started getting into Israel, I considered the possibility of getting into Israel if I was injured. But before that I never expected to enter Israel.”

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky filmed his visit to the hospital located close to Israel’s international borders with Lebanon and Syria, a sworn enemy of the Jewish state. The facility has treated victims of hostilities and soldiers injured from both sides. Almost all of those treated at the medical center are men.

Dr. Ahmer Hussein, who oversees the treatment of Syrians at the hospital, told Ostrovsky that it is very dangerous for Syrians to seek help in Israel. He added, “The leaders don’t want people coming to Israel.” Ostrovsky asked Hussein what would happen to Syrians if they returned to their country and people discovered they sought medical attention in Israel. The doctor replied, “They may be killed.”

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Ziv Medical Center has treated 420 Syrians in its facility so far. Hussein said the complex used to treat Syrian soldiers but Israel has since changed its policy and now only civilians are bought for medical attention.

“At first, yes, there were fighters against [President of Syria Bashar al-) Assad for the revolution. But after, no fighters, only civilian people,” the doctor told Ostrovsky. “You can see children, you can see very old people, but not fighters.”

Watch Ostrovsky’s visit to the Ziv Medical Center below:

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