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'We Won't Stand By as Horrors Unfold.' How Israel Is Aiding Syria War Victims


Israelis have launched a grassroots fund-raising campaign to help Syrian children and other refugee victims of Syria's five-year civil war.

Thousands have been left homeless in the cold after the Russian-backed regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad bombarded the city of Aleppo in recent weeks.  More than 100,000 were killed.

The Jerusalem Post reports that since the aid campaign began Thursday, Israelis have already donated more than $100,000 to "Just Beyond the Border" to fund emergency supplies, including food and medicine for Syrian refugees.

"Hundreds of thousands of children from war-torn Syria are now facing winter," reads an Israeli flyer. "We will not stand idly by as the horrors unfold."

For more than 50 years, Syria's leaders have been among Israel's most hostile enemies, participating in four wars against the Jewish state.  But the Israeli humanitarian campaign spans all segments of Israeli society, including religious and secular, Jewish and Muslim.

The initiative began on the mimoona crowdfunding platform and the aid will be delivered with the assistance of the Israel Flying Aid Organization.

Yoav Bakshi Yevin, one of the co-founders of "Just Beyond the Borders," told the Post, "As an Israeli child, I grew up asking where the world was when we needed them most.  As a Jew, I always knew that I was expected to be there, to help lend a hand.  There is no nation that knows better than us how lethal apathy can be."

Co-organizer Shivi Froman added, "The decision we made was to take children out of the equation because children are children and they deserve assistance regardless of how complex the reality might be."

The Israeli effort comes as the United Nations announced the rescue of 47 children from an orphanage in Aleppo.

The Times of Israel quotes a UNICEF official as saying some of the children were in "critical condition from injuries and dehydration."

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