JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel is looking for ways to help wounded Syrian women and children, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
"We see the tragedy, the terrible suffering of civilians," Netanyahu said.
Speaking to the Foreign Press corps during an annual New Year's party hosted by the Government Press Office (GPO), Netanyahu said he wants to bring the wounded to Israeli hospitals.
"I've asked the Foreign Ministry to seek ways to extend our medical assistance to the civilian casualties of the Syrian tragedy, specifically in Aleppo, where we're prepared to take in wounded women and children and also men if they're not combatants," Netanyahu said.
Syria and Israel have no diplomatic ties. For years, Syria bombarded Israeli civilians living around the Sea of Galilee until Israel took over the Golan Heights during the 1967 Six-Day War.
The two countries have never signed a peace treaty, though the Israeli-Syrian border was Israel's quietest after the 1973 Yom Kippur War until the Syrian civil war broke out five years ago.
Israel has been quietly bringing injured Syrian civilians to Israel since then for treatment. Now the prime minister wants to increase that effort.
"We'd like to do that, bring them to Israel, take care of them in our hospitals, as we've done with thousands of Syrian civilians. We're looking into the ways of doing this, but it's being explored as we speak," he added.
Media Missing 'Huge Story'
Many nations that didn't want anything to do with the Jewish state for years are now turning to Israel for help because they see its expertise in fighting terrorism, Netanyahu said.
During a question and answer time, Netanyahu told journalists they're missing a giant story in Israel.
"There's a story, a huge story that is taking place here and it's changing Israel's position among the nations and it's the result of our technological prowess and our ability to and willingness to help others fight this common plague of terrorism that countries are coming to us," the prime minister said.
Netanyahu said when these countries come to Israel for help, they recognize that Israel actually is willing to sit down and negotiate peace with the Palestinians.
"It's a great change and it's happening in Asia, it's happening in Africa, it's happening in Latin America, it's happening elsewhere but I would say that the place where you have the greatest and most dramatic changes in the Arab world itself. That's where it's changing for both reasons in the Arab world and that gives me a lot of hope," he said.
Netanyahu said Israel is also spending billions of dollars a year to help Israeli Arabs better integrate into the country.
How to Fight Terrorism from the Bible
Commenting on the apparent ramming terror attack in Germany, Netanyahu said that countries must come together and unite to stand against terrorism. Later he added that the most important trait in fighting terrorism is courage.
"My message is actually from Joshua. 'Be strong and of good courage,'" Netanyahu said quoting the Bible
"That's how you fight this thing. The most elementary thing is strength and courage. Strength is not enough, but courage is the most important quality because it guarantees – I think the Romans said this – courage is not the only quality, but it guarantees the others because if you don't have courage, everything else is meaningless," Netanyahu said.
"You have to have great courage and determination to fight this evil. And I think that we can defeat it," he said.