Israeli PM says not to allow Syrian refugees to enter Israel

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-01 18:06:15|Editor: Yurou
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JERUSALEM, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday Israel will help Syrian refugees near the disputed Syria-Israel border, but will not allow them to enter Israel.

Tens of thousands of refugees have been fleeing to the borders with Jordan and the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights after Syria's army heavily bombed rebel-held areas in the city of Daraa over the past weeks.

"We will continue to defend our borders, we will assist as much as we can, but we will not allow entry into our territory," Netanyahu told his weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

He stressed that Israel "will demand strict observance of the 1974 agreement of disengagement with the Syrian army," referring to the cease-fire agreement signed between Israel and Syria.

On Thursday, Israel's army said it had transferred humanitarian aid, including 300 tents, 13 tons of food, 15 tons of baby food, three pallets of medical equipment and medicine, and 30 tons of clothing and footwear.

"Thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing the hostilities are living under poor conditions in these camps near the Israeli border, lacking access to water, electricity, sources of food or other basic necessities," a military spokesperson said in a statement.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 120,000 people have been displaced due to escalating bombardments against the rebels in Daraa. Both Israel and Jordan said they will not allow refugees to enter their countries, local media reported.

Physicians for Human Rights, an Israel-based human rights group, called on the Israeli government to allow refugees to find shelter in Israel, saying Israel should not stand by as human lives are in danger in Syria."

Israel considers Syria an "enemy country" and there are no diplomatic relations between the two neighboring countries.