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Israel calls for world intervention in Syria, offers aid (ISRAEL HAYOM) News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff 06/10/12)Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=4619 Israel Hayom Israel Hayom Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz levels harsh criticism of Russia´s seemingly complicit role in the Syrian uprising: "Best case, this is irresponsibility, and worst case, it is a partnership in the slaughter" • Netanyahu: Iran, Hezbollah actively assisting Syrian regime • Peres: I respect the Syrian opposition and I hope it wins.

Following yet another brutal massacre in Syria over the weekend, Israeli leaders came out in force on Sunday calling for international action to be taken to stop the slaughter and offering Israeli humanitarian aid to be provided for Syrian victims. One top official even went as far as to blame Russia for its "irresponsible" role in backing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday with a statement on Syria. "There is a massacre going on in Syria. A massacre of civilians, including of children and the elderly, being carried out by the Syrian government with the backing of Iran and Hezbollah. The world needs to see this concentrated axis of evil. The face of this axis has been revealed in all its ugliness and everyone should see the sort of neighborhood we live in.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Israel Radio on Sunday that Israel will offer humanitarian aid to Syrian citizens, including food and medicine as well as treatment for the wounded who come in via Jordan. Ayalon noted that Israel was not in contact with the Syrian opposition but maintains ongoing communication with the Red Cross and other aid organizations.

Ayalon added that the situation in Syria had gone "completely out of control" as a result of the "indifferent attitude and lack of leadership" in the international community. Ayalon called the conflict a "fight to the death" and that the ousting of Assad would not necessarily solve the problem.

"Without large contingents of U.N. troops, it will not be possible to stop the Syrian people´s suffering," he said.

Vice Prime Minister and Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz called the Syrian government´s killings "a crime against humanity," adding that "genocide is being conducted in Syria today. And the silence of the world powers is contrary to all human logic."

Foreign powers were "making do with flaccid condemnation" rather than intervening to overthrow Assad, Mofaz said.

"Worse than that is the Russian conduct, which tacitly condemns the slaughter while continuing to arm Assad´s murderous regime. Best case, this is irresponsibility, and worst case, it is a partnership in the slaughter," Mofaz said.

"We need to enlist the West. We need our voice to be heard. This slaughter is being carried out not far from Israel´s border. We cannot get involved, for understandable reasons. But I think that the West, led by the United States, has an interest in guarding the threshold (so) genocide does not take place."

President Shimon Peres on Sunday told Army Radio that the international community was not doing nearly enough.

"We are all humans. Who can stay indifferent at the sight of such a massacre, images of the children in little coffins and screaming mothers. No one is listening; the world is giving itself too much leeway," he said. Peres commended the Syrian rebels´ bravery in protesting in the face of gunfire, "I hope they win."

Kadima MK and former deputy Shin Bet chief Yisrael Hasson on Sunday called for an immediate humanitarian corridor in the Golan Heights for Syrian civilians "who are being massacred."

"How will we look at ourselves when this is all over, when we ask ourselves where were we when civilians were being murdered? My expectations from the international community are very low, but we must wake the world to action. There is nothing more moral than personal example. After a year of massacre, I expected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to try to do something to help the Syrian people," Hasson told Israel Radio.

On Saturday, Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara said Israel was ready to provide assistance to those wounded by the Syrian regime.

“Israel is ready to receive casualties who are evacuated from Syria to Israel, and alternatively we are ready to send medical assistance through Jordan,” deputy cabinet minister Ayoub Kara told Israel Radio. Kara, a member of the Israeli Druze minority, said some Israeli doctors are on the Syrian-Turkish border treating victims of the Syrian violence.

Meanwhile, on the ground in Syria, bullets and artillery shells filled the sky in Damascus overnight as troops battled rebels in the streets, a show of boldness for rebels taking their fight against Assad to the center of his power.

For nearly 12 hours of fighting that lasted into the early hours Saturday, rebels armed mainly with assault rifles fought Syrian forces in the heaviest fighting in the Assad stronghold since the uprising began 15 months ago. U.N. observers said rebels fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a local power plant, damaging parts of it and reducing six buses to charred shells, according to video the observers took of the scene.

Syrian forces showed the regime´s willingness to unleash such firepower in the capital: At least three tank shells slammed into residential areas in the central Damascus neighborhood of Qaboun, an activist said. Intense exchanges of assault-rifle fire marked the clash, according to residents and amateur video posted online.

At least 52 civilians were killed around the country outside Damascus on Saturday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based activist group. Among them were 20, including nine women and children, who died in heavy, pre-dawn shelling in the southern city of Daraa, where the uprising against Assad began in March 2011. Six children were among 10 killed by a shell that exploded in a house in which they were taking cover during fierce fighting in the coastal region of Latakia, the group said.

The group´s figures could not be independently confirmed.

In a Daraa mosque, a father stood over his son killed in the shelling, swaddled in a blanket in a hooded sweater, amateur video showed. "I will become a suicide bomber!" the father shouted in grief.

Another video showed tens of thousands of Daraa residents burying their slain victims later Saturday — singing, dancing and parading the dead in coffins around a large square and giving the mass funeral the appearance of a mass wedding party.

The Damascus violence was a dramatic shift; the capital has been relatively quiet compared with other Syrian cities throughout the uprising. Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, the country´s largest, are under the firm grip of security forces.

The rebels´ brazenness in the Damascus districts underscored deep- seated Sunni anger against the regime, with residents risking their safety, and potentially their lives, to shelter the fighters. Residents burned tires to block the advance of Syrian troops, sending plumes of smoke into the air, amateur video showed.

Urban Sunni Syrians had once mostly stayed at arms´ length from their mostly rural compatriots leading the uprising, fearing the instability that their leaderless, chaotic movement would bring.

But it appears a series of massacres of mainly Sunni peasants over the past few weeks have tipped some of their urban brethren in favor of the uprising. One rebel supporter in Qaboun said the recent mass killings made people see rebel fighters more as protectors against Assad´s forces.

"The regime has forced the rebels into the city. When they commit attacks, or massacres, or arrests, they come in to defend residents," he said.

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