Report: Israel willing to accept 100 Syrian refugees orphaned in civil war


(JTA) — Israel is willing to accept 100 orphaned Syrian refugee children, according to an Israeli television report citing a Cabinet minister.

Channel 10 reported Wednesday night that Interior Minister Aryeh Deri approved the plan, which has not yet been put into action. Government offices reportedly will work with international organizations in order to receive the refugees.

The children would live in a dormitory for their first three months in the country, according to the report, and then be placed in foster care with Israeli-Arab families. The children would hold temporary resident status and could become permanent residents after four years, which would allow them to stay in Israel for the rest of their lives.

Any immediate relatives of the refugee orphans, including siblings, also could be granted refugee status, according to the report.

The refugees have been orphaned in the ongoing civil war between government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and anti-government rebels.

Israel has treated more than 2,000 Syrians wounded in the conflict over the past several years, including many women and children, according to The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a December meeting with foreign journalists that Israel cannot resolve the crisis in Syria, but “can help mitigate some of the suffering. That is the best that Israel can do.” Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Syria.

Israel has been the victim of spillover from the fighting in Syria near its border, including mortar and gunfire attacks, and has responded to most of the attacks.

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