Nine Druze Israelis arrested over ambulance attacks

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel Police arrested nine Israeli Druze over two attacks on ambulances carrying wounded Syrians to Israeli hospitals, which left one Syrian dead. The arrests Wednesday included five people from the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights where a mob of Druze-Israeli protesters on Monday night dragged two wounded Syrian fighters from the ambulance, beating one to death and seriously injuring the second. Four of the arrested are believed to have been involved in an attack earlier Monday on an ambulance driving by the Druze village of Hurfish, where residents blocked the path of the ambulance and threw stones at it. The Druze attackers believed the injured men were members of Syrian rebel groups, who 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 IDF. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to meet on Wednesday with Druze leaders to calm the situation. Druze leaders have already condemned the attacks. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief Gadi Eizenkot, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino are also scheduled to participate in the meeting, according to Haaretz. 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 Israel Defense Forces has increased security for hospitalized Druze members. Powered By | Full Text RSS Feed