JERUSALEM, Israel - It was called “Operation Good Neighbor.” Since 2016 years, the Israel Defense Forces provided tons of food, powdered milk, fuel, and medical help to Syrians caught in the ravages of the Syrian civil war.
It was unique because Israel and Syria were technically enemy states.
Even for several years before the project was named, Israel was taking in thousands of wounded and sick Syrians over the border into the country for treatment.
CBN News covered the story almost from the beginning. But only recently when the project ended could Lt. Col. Eyal Dror, head of the IDF’s “Operation Good Neighbor” project, be interviewed on camera.
“One of the things that we have done is to help the (civilian) populations more than 250,000 civilian people living in the Quneitra region, people that educated (for) centuries to hate the State of Israel; people that didn't know Israelis, but they've been educated to hate us,” Dror told CBN News.
The project drew to a close at the end of 2018 as the Syrian government troops of President Bashar Assad regained control of the southern border area that had been held by rebel forces.
“It wasn't just a tactical mission to secure the Israeli Syrian border,” Dror said.
“I think that what we have done, it will take years to understand actually what has happened here, but I think that those people that we have saved their lives, they will not be able to forget it. They will tell this story of the IDF and the State of Israel help for centuries ahead,” Dror said.