Aleppo family claims to be Jewish, calls on Israel to help them



Syrian residents, fleeing violence in Aleppo’s Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, arrive in the Fardos neighborhood after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters, Dec. 13, 2016. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Members of a family in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo have called on Israel to help them leave the country, claiming Jewish heritage.

A recording of a woman calling for the assistance was broadcast Sunday morning on Army Radio.

The younger brother of the woman on the recording, who himself escaped over a year ago to London and identified as Salah, told Army Radio that his mother is Jewish and his father Muslim, and that he and his siblings had considered themselves Jewish growing up.

“There is nobody who can help us to get out of this place,” said his sister, 30, on the recording, where she is identified as Razan, though that is not her real name. “We are asking that the Israeli government does not abandon us, but helps us get out of here to another country. I ask that the government demands from the entire world to do this. All my love and loyalty is to this religion (Judaism).”

The Jewish Agency told Israeli media outlets that it was looking into the matter and would work to rescue the family if it is proven they are Jewish. Meanwhile, officials at the Jewish Agency told Army Radio that they had doubts about the family’s Jewishness because people in similar positions have hidden their Jewish identity to avoid putting themselves in more danger.

Aleppo’s last remaining Jews were believed to have left the country with the help of the Jewish Agency in 2015.

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