Israel offers aid via Red Cross to Syria: Minister

AFP , Sunday 4 Mar 2012

Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman stresses Tel Aviv's 'moral duty' to offer humanitarian assistance - at the very least - to war-torn Syria's civilian population

Israel has offered to send humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians affected by the regime's crackdown on protests through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the foreign ministry said on Sunday.

"Israel's foreign ministry has offered to transfer humanitarian aid to the people of Syria through the international Red Cross," the ministry said in a statement.

"Representatives of the organisation in Israel told the ministry that they would reply in detail after examining their needs," it added.

"The Jewish state cannot stand by without doing a thing while atrocities are taking place in a neighbouring country and people are losing their whole worlds," Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in the statement.

"Even if Israel, naturally, cannot intervene in countries in which we have no diplomatic relations, it is our moral duty to at least offer humanitarian help and arouse the world to act to end the massacre," he added.

Israel has kept relatively quiet about the crisis in its neighbour and enemy, Syria, where thousands of people have been killed in a brutal crackdown on activists opposed to the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad.

Despite the dispute with Syria over the Golan Heights, seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed, the border between the two nations has been largely quiet since the 1973 Middle East war.

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