An Israeli Cabinet minister says Syrian opposition leaders have told him they want peace with Israel after Syrian President Bashar Assad falls.

Israel and Syria are bitter enemies. They have fought several major wars, and Syria backs violent anti-Israel groups.

Isaac Herzog said Wednesday that the Syrian opposition want to "be friends" with Israel. He refused to name his sources because he said they fear retribution by Assad. He said they are aligned with the main rebel factions.

Herzog, Israel's welfare minister, also serves on the parliament's influential Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He said Israel should supply medical and humanitarian assistance to the rebels. He ruled out military aid.

Assad's military has killed thousands of Syrians in an attempt to put down an uprising.

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