Mariana Alkush, a 14-year-old girl from the village of Buqata in the Golan Heights is slated to cross the border into Syria Thursday in order to undergo surgery which may restore her eyesight.
However, there has been a delay in the plan, apparently caused by last minute reservations posed by the Syrian side. Israeli citizens are not usually permitted to cross the border into the Islamic state for medical treatment.
"Over the past year we have consulted a number of experts about Mariana's condition. She was born with reticulum problems. But no one could promise me it will not result in blindness," Samer, Mariana's father told Ynet.
"A Syrian expert who also works in Europe said there was a chance to restore her eyesight by performing surgery," he said. "I was very excited to receive the phone call informing me we would be able to cross the border this morning."
Interior Minister Eli Yishai authorized Mariana's passage after receiving the recommendation of Population and Immigration Authority Director Amnon Ben Ami. A senior official at the authority said that the approval had been granted based on humanitarian grounds.
Meanwhile, 740 religious scholars and Druze residents of Golan Heights villages crossed the border into Syria for a 4-day visit in various holy sites and to visit family without any trouble. The annual passage is a result of a collaboration between the Israel Defense Forces, the International Red Cross and Israel and Syria's interior ministries.
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