Israel to take in 100 Syrian orphans
ISRAELI GOVERNMENT sources have confirmed reports that the country will be taking in 100 orphans from the Syrian war.
The proposal was originally made by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and has been approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
It is not clear at this stage whether the children, who will be granted temporary residence status, will also be allowed to apply for citizenship.
While no official announcement has yet been made on the initiative, government officials said that the plan is to place the children, most of them Sunni Muslims, with Israeli-Arab foster families. In addition, if their family members are located, the authorities will consider allowing them into Israel as well.
While the officials were not forthcoming about the details of the plan, it is expected that the orphans will come from Turkish or Greek refugee camps. Syria and Israel have been officially at war since the Jewish state’s founding in 1948 and the orphans are therefore technically citizens of an enemy state.
Over the last six years, Israel has steadfastly avoided taking sides in the Syrian conflict, mainly limiting itself to air-strikes on Hizbollah convoys.
Israel has established a medical facility on the Golan border that has treated close to 3,000 Syrians, some of whom have been taken for further treatment in Israeli hospitals. Officials have acknowledged that Israel has also supplied food and, in some cases, light weapons, to moderate rebel groups in the area.
Orphaned, injured and disabled Syrian children at a charity party in Damascus