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Israeli army providing aid to Syrians on border, defense chief says

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli army has been providing humanitarian aid to Syrians living in the border area, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said.

The military has provided food and water, as well as baby food, Yaalon said Tuesday during a tour of the Israel-Syria border, which the previous day was the site of a mortar shell attack and gunfire at Israeli soldiers.

“In light of the fact that the villages here are besieged and have no access to other places, we are assisting them for humanitarian reasons,” Yaalon said.

The villages have been affected by the nearly 3-year-old Syrian civil war.

The food is being transferred to the Syrian villages via the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, Haaretz reported, though in some cases Israeli soldiers place aid packages over the border and villagers retrieve them.

Medics from the Israel Defense Forces reportedly have been treating injured Syrians at the border as well. Dozens of Syrians also have been evacuated to Israeli hospitals for treatment.

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