Israeli Druse seriously concerned about brethren in Syria

"We are worried about the Syrian Druse and demand that the world not stand by and do nothing."

June 5, 2015 03:02
2 minute read.
DRUSE SPIRITUAL LEADER Sheikh Muafek Tarif attends the ceremony honoring the divers on Monday.

DRUSE SPIRITUAL LEADER Sheikh Muafek Tarif attends the ceremony honoring the divers on Monday.. (photo credit: AVI MIZRAHI)


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Israeli Druse expressed their anxiety to The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, saying they are very concerned about the fate of their brethren across the border in Syria.

“We are worried about the Syrian Druse and demand that the world not stand by and do nothing,” said Druse and Circassian Local Councils Forum head Jaber Hamoud.

Hamoud, who served 25 years in the army and is also the head of the municipality of Sajur, a Druse town in the Galilee, said that if the world would arm the Druse, they would be able to defend themselves and help prevent Islamic State from reaching Israel and Jordan.

“The Druse love peace, but they know how to defend themselves. They need the means, not knives and axes,” he added.

Asked about Druse opinion about the situation, he replied that all Druse are united in their support for their brothers in Syria.

President Bashar Assad’s forces are weakening in Druse areas, including near the village of Hader, close to the Israeli border, Channel 1 reported earlier this week.

Jerusalem is closely following developments, in case Druse flee to Israel from the jihadist threat.

Sheikh Maufak Tarif, the head of the Druse community in Israel, told the Post on Tuesday that the country’s Druse call on the governments of Israel and the US to prevent a catastrophe for their brethren across the border in Syria.

“We request that the Americans attack Islamic State in this area, just as it is doing in other parts of Syria,” Tarif said.

Golan Druse resident Ayman Abu Jabal told the Post on Thursday that all Druse are concerned, and that it is possible a demonstration would be held in the near future to show their support.

A demonstration that was scheduled to take place on Saturday was canceled for security reasons.

Asked if Israeli Druse would go to Syria to fight and help defend Druse areas from the jihadists, Jabal responded that this most likely will not be the case, but that Israeli Druse are nonetheless fully supportive of the Syrian Druse.

Regarding Israel’s position on a possible Druse run on its border, a government official said this week that it is willing to take in a certain number of Syrians for medical treatment, but they would return to Syria when the treatment is over. This continues to be the policy, he said.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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