Israeli produced food is showing up on the frontlines in Syria, and has been causing a firestorm in Arabic media and social media.
The food has been showing up in Qunietra province which is on the border with the Israeli Golan Heights, specifically in areas controlled by rebel groups. While many of the rebel groups seem to be happy with this aid, there are others who are not too pleased with it, saying "it is a disgrace to be receiving food from the Zionist Entity which has stolen the Golan."
The pictures were also found on rebel social media pages and even some social media pages affiliated with the Syrian regime – pages which use the food aid as "proof" of Israeli cooperation with the rebels.
The food pictured is usually Israeli produced rice, flour, and sugar. However, when the food was brought to Syria, who brought it, and to whom it was given to is unknown.
The newspaper "al-Quds al-Arabi" tweeted that people on the ground in Syria claimed that this isn't the first time Israeli aid has wound up in the hands of members of the opposition.
"The aid began in 2013 and has been growing ever since Jordan closed its border with Syria," a source told the Arabic language paper, adding that the aid caused the various rebel movements to accuse each other of being traitors for "cooperating with the Zionists."
"The Military Revolutionary Council in Quneitra and the Golan" published a harsh condemnation following the discovery of Israeli made products which have been found in Syria.
"We condemn this insult which has been inflicted on our nation in the free Qunietra region in the form of food aid which the Zionist Entity which is oppressing the Golan has given, and which the regime is selling on this, the day of the Naksa, where we remember the theft of the Syrian Golan."
The organization later vehemently denied that it knew or was connected in any way to the food aid. Other opposition members in Quneitra also expressed opposition to the Israeli aid.
An activist from the area Izz a-Din Abu a-Baraa told al-Quds al-Arabi that this food gets into Syria via moderate rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) which is fighting all throughout the southern part of Syria. "They bring in the food aid after they bring their wounded into the demilitarized zone for treatment in Israeli hospitals," he said.
The Arabic paper also interviewed the Chairman of the Free Qunietra Provincial Council, Fahad a-Musa.
He said "since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, we have been unable to get our wounded to any Arab country. There is also a large amount of medicine, baby food, and other foodstuffs which get into the province from Israel."
He also confirmed that coordination is being conducted between several of the armed rebel groups and Israel regarding treatment of wounded and food aid, but clarified that they haven't received any assistance in June, except from the United Arab Emirates. The chairman also said that they have no way to stop the aid, because they don't know exactly who is bringing in the food and medicine.
A Syrian on the ground explained in an interview with Ynet that "there is anarchy over the aid. Although we thank Allah for bringing us this aid, it needs to be done in an orderly way. We wish that the real representatives from the region would distribute the aid. But what happens now creates a situation of confusion and anarchy – someone comes and distributes the aid to one of the rebel groups without speaking with their leadership. I wish that the people in Israel will help us, but what happens in practice brings us back to square one."
According to the source, "it's preferable to do nothing than to distribute the aid unevenly. It can create a huge problem, even if it isn't done intentionally. It causes us to lose our unity."
Regarding the opposition forces who have come out strongly against the aid and those that receive it, the Syrian said "these messages don't mean that they're for or against peace with Israel. They're just going overboard in their anger regarding how the aid is distributed. When a family is hungry and sees discrimination (in how aid is allocated), this causes anger. These types of things can cause internal conflicts. It's better to wait than to act hastily."
President of the Amalia aid organization Motti Kahana explained regarding the aid that "there are over 50 rebel groups fighting in southern Syria, including 40 moderate rebel groups which receive aid from five countries. What our non-profit Jewish-American group suggests is to open up the Qunietra crossing to a rebel group which is willing to coordinate with the Americans to get this aid to all of the moderate groups. It will help build cooperation and unity amongst all of the moderate rebel groups. Israel can not become involved in Syria, but the country needs to be involved in humanitarian aid and open the crossing."