In exchange for a symbolic fee of 18 Shekels, Yitro’s (Jethro) Tomb will be transferred over to Israel’s Druze community, according to a report in Yisrael Hayom. The location is also know as Shuaib’s tomb, who was a pre-Islamic prophet mentioned in the Koran.
The Druze community identifies Yitro as their prophet Shuaib, although the timelines don’t necessarily match up.
The tomb is located in the lower Galilee. There is another tomb in Jordan, west of the town of Mahis in an area called Wadi Shuaib which also lays claim to house Shuaib’s tomb.
Israel will transfer Yitro’s tomb along with the 170 dunams of land around it in a 49 year lease, ending an 18 year squabble between the Druze community and Israel.
Minister Uri Ariel said, “The decision is a sign that we recognize the contribution of this [Druze] community in Israel. Those who contribute to the state should also get something back.”
The religious leader of the Druze community thanked Uri Ariel for his help in making the transfer happen.
Yitro was Moshe’s father-in-law, and a priest of Midian.
There is a belief in the Druze community that they are descendants of Yitro, and he is an important figure in their religion, which is monotheistic and distinct from Islam.
83% percent of Druze serve in the IDF, of those, 40% are combat soldiers.