Israel has shipped over the weekend medical supplies and humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan for civilians who were injured in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Israel has been selling arms and military equipment to Azerbaijan for years, and now, as violence between the central Asian nation and Armenia is flaring up again, Baku has asked for Jerusalem's support.
Dozens of Azeri civilians were injured in a string of attacks on the city of Ganja – the third largest city in Azerbaijan – carried out by Armenian separatists. Fifteen civilians have been killed and many have lost their homes.
Israel complied with Baku's request for aid, supplying also equipment for those who lost their homes; such as heaters, winter clothes, blankets, first aid kits, and more.
In addition, a second package delivered on Friday included expendable medical supplies, and additional medical equipment may be shipped later if needed. Israel has also offered humanitarian aid to Armenia two weeks ago, but Yerevan has yet to respond to Jerusalem's offer.
Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan George Dick transported the aid to Ganja and laid flowers on bombsites where civilians have lost their lives in the attacks.
He also met citizens who had lost loved ones and their homes, and they expressed gratitude to Israel. The assistance was given only to civilians and not soldiers hurt in the fighting.
"I came [to Ganja] to express my condolences and the condolences of the State of Israel to the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded," the ambassador said upon his arrival. "I met some of the victims and I will meet more later, their stories are heartbreaking. As Israelis, we know the destructive effect of war, especially when innocent civilians are under attack. Violence against civilians, no matter what nationality or religion, is unacceptable. No one should lose loved ones, friends or neighbors while they sleep peacefully at night."
"We value our friendship with Azerbaijan, it is deeply rooted in history and is reflected in a wide range of areas of cooperation. Our friendship is between nations and is not directed against anyone else. Israel prays for a peaceful solution to this conflict so that all the peoples of the region live in peace, free from fear and with the respect they deserve."
Israel has an extensive strategic relationship with Azerbaijan. Jerusalem is reportedly supplying Baku with arms, and amid allegations that it continued to do so even with increasing violence in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia returned its ambassador from Tel Aviv to Yerevan earlier this month.
Earlier in October, Nagorno-Karabakh leader Arayik Harutyunyan blamed Israel for "aiding the genocide" against the Armenians in the separatist territory.