Seven Syrians hurt in battles between Syrian army forces and rebels
were taken to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed, the IDF
Spokesperson's Unit confirmed Saturday. One of the men is in critical condition.
The seven made their own way to the border area in the northern Golan Heights.
"An IDF force administered medical care to the wounded men near the border fence and they were taken for further treatment," a statement said.
Ziv Medical Center director Dr. Oscar Ambon said that one of the wounded arrived in critical condition. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and is scheduled to undergo another surgery in the next 48 hours.
Four of the seven are in moderate condition, he added, and two are set to undergo surgery. "They only said where it hurts, nothing else," Ambon remarked.
Syrian border towns scene of fighting (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Earlier on Saturday, rebels attacked a military police barrage, in the Syrian Golan, only a few miles from the Israeli
border, and has taken over a tank of pro-Assad troops.
According to sources with the opposition,
a few Syrian soldiers on scene were killed in the clashes between the two armies and the rest were taken prisoners.
In retaliation, the Syrian army bombed the region, including villages near the Israeli border.
Shooting near the Syria-Israel border
The IDF stressed Saturday that the incident should not be regarded a precedent. It was "an isolated event that does not signal any change in policy," a military source told Ynet.
The policy is not to allow any breach of the fence, "with the exception of special humanitarian cases," he added.
It remains unclear whether the seven were rebels who took part in the battles or innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.
They had made their own way across the demilitarized zone to the border fence. A Golani patrol detected them and quickly noticed they were wounded and seeking help. Army medics were called to the scene and administered initial care. Senior officers then debated whether to arrange transport to a hospital in Israel.
It should be noted that the seven did not enter Israel through the official Quneitra crossing and their arrival was not coordinated with the UN force in the area or the Red Cross. It was ultimately decided not to leave them in such condition and arrange their transport to a hospital.
It remains unclear when they will be returned to Syria. In the past, Syrians caught near the fence and taken for questioning in Israel were returned within a few days.
The IDF is currently completing the construction of a new border fence.
Meanwhile, an activist group said that the pro-government gunmen have kidnapped more than 300 people in northwestern Syria
in retaliation for the abduction of 42 Shiite Muslims, mostly women and children, who were snatched Thursday from a bus.
The UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, called for the release of the women.
She said "allegations of abduction and rape of women and girls by armed groups have been received."
Roi Kais, Maor Buchnik, Yoav Zitun and AP contributed to this report