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February 16, 2013

Israeli Army Takes Wounded Syrians to Hospital

by VOA News

The Israeli military says it evacuated seven Syrians wounded in clashes in the Golan Heights to a hospital in Israel.

A military spokeswoman says Israeli soldiers treated the wounded Syrians Saturday near the security fence in the Golan, before transferring them to a hospital in the northern city of Safed.

Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon told an Israeli television station the aid was provided on "humanitarian grounds." He said there has been no change in Israel's policy to not get involved in Syria's war, or to allow an influx of Syrian refugees into Israel.

It is unclear if the wounded Syrians are rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, forces loyal to him or civilians caught in the crossfire.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Saturday that rebels overran a military police checkpoint in Khan Arnabeh, a town in the Golan near the outer ceasefire line along the demilitarized zone bordering Israel.

Israel seized the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981. The strategic plateau has been hit by sporadic gunfire stemming from the fighting in Syria, prompting Israeli forces to fire back.