Nine Druze Israelis arrested in attacks on ambulances carrying Syrians

Nine Druze Israelis were arrested in two attacks on ambulances carrying wounded Syrians to Israeli hospitals, including one that left a Syrian dead.

On June 24, Israel Police arrested five people from the village of Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights, where two nights earlier a mob of Druze Israeli protesters dragged two wounded Syrian fighters from the ambulance, beating one to death and seriously injuring the second.

The four others arrested are believed to have been involved in an attack earlier on June 22 on an ambulance driving by the Druze village of Hurfish, where residents blocked the ambulance and threw stones.

The Druze attackers believed the injured men were members of Syrian rebel groups, which have been targeting Druze Syrians living near the border with Israel as part of the country’s four-year civil war.

Israel treats wounded from the civil war in the field and at local hospitals regardless of what side they are fighting for. More than 1,600 wounded Syrians have been treated in Israeli hospitals during the civil war, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top Israeli defense officials were scheduled to meet June 24 with Druze leaders to calm the situation. Druze leaders have already condemned the attacks.

Netanyahu called on “every Druze citizen of Israel to respect soldiers, law and order, and not to take the law into their own hands.”

The IDF has increased security for hospitalized Syrians. — jta


Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.