Israelis quibble over handling of Syrian refugees

Jerusalem: Israeli politicians on Sunday expressed opposing views on how Israel should handle the Syrian refugees’ crisis.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that while Israel has helped Syria in the past four years amid the Syrian civil war, it could not take in Syrian refugees into its territory, reported Xinhua news agency.

“Israel is not indifferent to the human tragedy of the refugees from Syria and Africa,” Netanyahu said.

“We have already cared for approximately 1,000 wounded people from fighting in Syria and helped them rehabilitate their lives. But Israel is a small country that lacks demographic and geographic depth, therefore, we must control our borders,” Netanyahu said on Sunday.

Israel started building a fence on Sunday on its eastern border with Jordan, down from the town of Eilat up to northern Israel and the Golan Heights.

Netanyahu’s statements contradict the views expressed by the head of the Israeli opposition bloc in the parliament, Isaac Herzog, who called on the Israeli government to open its door to Syrian refugees over the weekend.

Herzog, the chief of the Labour party, accused the government of forgetting the lessons of Jewish history.