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April 29, 2016 / 21 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Druze’

‘The US is Preventing Israel From Joining Sunni Coalition’ Says Government Official

Monday, February 8th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoob Kara revealed at the Jerusalem Conference on Monday, February 2 that the Israeli government has an interest in pursuing a closer relationship with Sunni states and that Russia is linked to the existential threats against Israel.

The Jerusalem Conference is organized annually by Arutz Sheva, a network affiliated with the religious conservative right wing. The conference tackles political, economic, social, and religious issues in Israel.

The opening panel of the conference featured Deputy Minister Kara as the official representative and voice of the Likud party and the Israeli government.

“The existential threat to Israel does not come from the Islamic State or Sunni Muslims,” Kara declared to the panel. “The existential threat to Israel and the Jews is Shiite; it is Iran, which is backed now and has been backed for a long time by Russia.”

Although Kara blamed Russia, he did not spare the United States from criticism as well, claiming that the US is preventing Israel from making connections with moderate Muslim states.

“The best course of action for Israel to face the Iranian threat as well as that of the Islamic State is through cooperation with the moderate Sunni nations. We need to join a coalition with Saudi Arabia, but it seems that the US does not want that to happen,” elaborated the deputy minister.

These comments raised a few eyebrows and generated some surprised whispers from both the crowd and other members of the panel, which included local media personalities and rabbis.

Deputy Minister Kara later toned down the nature of his comments in an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

“I did not mean to say that the US is actively and willfully preventing a closer relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia,” Kara told TPS.

“But the US is ignoring and not helping with steps to bring our countries together, and I think this in itself is a method of preventing Israel from joining the Saudi coalition,” explained Kara.

Deputy Minister Kara confirmed to TPS that Israel shares geopolitical and security interests with the moderate Sunni states and that both sides are seeking to develop strategic and financial cooperation and connections .

“I had a meeting yesterday with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dore Gold and we are working on opening direct channels to Saudi Arabia and to pursue a normalization of relations with other Muslim states,” Kara said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli Paramedic Reflects on Treating Wounded Syrians

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Israeli Defense Forces Staff Sergeant “N” sounded surprised by the question.

“No,” she answered the JewishPress.com reporter, the wounded Syrians “we were treating trusted us and the IDF.  With us, they knew they were safe from the bombings and the terrible situation in Syria. They thanked us and were grateful,” N said of the Syrians – some of whom were suffering from catastrophic wounds – she and her colleagues treated at the Syrian-Israeli border.

When N first entered the Israel Defense Forces nearly three years ago, she knew she wanted to be a paramedic. She spent 14 months training for this specialty, and spent much of her service working with a brigade in Judea and Samaria.

But when she heard there was help needed in the north, help needed in the Golan Heights on Israel’s border with Syria, N went.

Every day the Israeli medical professionals go to Israel’s border with Syria. It is there that the injured are brought by Syrians, and it is there that Israeli ambulances pick them up for treatment.

The first step for the Israeli medics is to stabilize the wounded, and then to transfer the stabilized patients to a hospital and for rehabilitation. Sometimes the wounded are treated at Israel’s medical facility built for this purpose on the Iraeli-Syrian border. Other times, and depending on the types of injuries, the wounded are transferred to other hospitals in Israel.

As N put it, “whichever hospital has the best, most appropriate care for an injury or condition, that is where the wounded are taken.”

N witnessed and assisted in treating all kinds of injured Syrians. Many had severe head wounds, others required amputations, there are lots of shotgun wounds, and trauma is widespread. The Syrians are coming from a hot war zone, and have war injuries. Her patients ran the age gamut from children three years old to people in their 50’s and 60’s.

“We were not aware of their backgrounds, we were just treating the wounded, that was our only concern,” the Israeli st. sgt. explained, when asked whether the patients were combatants or civilians. “We gave them the best care we could.”

Despite treating all who come to the border needing medical assistance, N pointed out that everyone is first checked to make sure they do not have weapons on them. It is essential to make sure no one posed a potential threat to the medics or to the other patients.

In June, a small group of Israeli Druze attacked an Israeli ambulance carrying wounded Syrians. The attack took place just after the Al Nusra Front, one of the terrorist groups fighting within Syria, had attacked a Druze village in northern Syria. The Druze were outraged that the Israelis might be treating Al Nusra fighters. A wounded Syrian being transported for treatment was killed in that attack.

N said she only knows a few words of Arabic, but, she said “pain is an international language.” The patients, or someone with whom they traveled, would point to the area in which the pain was experienced.

One young eight-year-old girl came to the border with her mother. She had been the victim of a bombing, and was not able to be moved for three days. By the time she was brought to the Israelis, she was in danger of losing her legs. But N assisted and the young girl made it through the surgery. Her legs were saved. Both the young girl and her mother thanked N and her IDF colleagues.

“When they come across the border, they know they will be treated just as any other people would be treated here.” These victims of the Syrian civil war learn what the Jewish nation is about, and then they tell their fellow Syrians what the Jewish State will provide.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Reports: As Civil War Intensifies Syrian Body Parts Become Country’s Chief Export

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

(JNi.media) Recently, many Druze from the northern Golan heights who need organ transplants and have been waiting a long time on the Israeli national waiting list, have gone to civil war-torn Syria for the parts they need in order to stay alive, Walla reported. Lebanese and Syrian media have published several stories describing the thriving black market trade in human organs. Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, which is close to the Assad regime, last January quoted the head of Medicine at Damascus University, Dr. Hussein Nofal, who claimed there have been thousands of cases of cornea sales in Syria.

Dr. Nofal added there are gangs working with Syrian doctors who sell cornea at $7,500 per, mostly abroad, falsifying their country of origin. He claimed that organ theft is prevalent in border areas outside the control of the Assad regime and inside the Syrian refugee camps in Turkey and Lebanon.

Another source told As-Safir that the Islamist militias fighting in Syria have been working with organized crime, selling them the organs of people killed in the fighting. The source related that hospitals in areas controlled by the rebels in Aleppo are plagued by thieves who claim the bodies of their “loved ones” only to harvest them and then bury them in mass graves. The source knew of about 5,000 organ stealing gangs, and suggested Turkish hospitals have become “export centers for Syrian body parts.”

For its part, the Syrian opposition is claiming that Syria’s organ trafficking network is operated by Assad army officers. According to reports in the opposition websites, the organ trafficking industry is thriving in direct ratio to the increased fighting in Syria in the past four years, as organs are harvested from thousands of Syrians the regime “erases” systematically.

The most desirable organs are the heart, eyes, kidneys, vertebrae, cartilage, joints and muscle tissue, which are flown to Russia for sale in Iran and India through the Russian mafia. The price of a smuggled heart is estimated at $20,000, an eye for $25,000, Kidney – $15,000 and most other organs for $10,000. The final price of an organ is determined by the age of the person from whom it was harvested.

A social activist from Majdal Shams, a Druze town in the southern foothills of Mt. Hermon, north of the Golan Heights, told Walla that the war has done a lot to bring down the cost of body parts in the region. “Before the war, a kidney sold for around 30 to 50 thousand dollars, and today, because of the large supply, a kidney already costs $15 thousand.”

At the same time, according to the Druze community sources, the risk of the trip to buy that kidney has also increased sharply, and not everyone who travels north for a bargain on a body part comes back.

JNi.Media

Update: Child Killer Samir Kuntar Dead in Alleged Israeli Air Strike

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Lebanese Druze child-killer Samir Kuntar reportedly was killed in the alleged Israeli air strike carried out Wednesday morning near the Syrian Golan Heights village of Hader.

Five people died in the strike, including Kuntar and a second Hezbollah terrorist, along with three pro-regime “Popular Committee” fighters, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Israeli fighter jets allegedly targeted the group as their vehicle traveled in the outskirts of the Druze village of Hader. The air strike has not been confirmed by Israel, which has declined to confirm or deny reports of the attack.

Last April media also reported that Israel had attacked targets in Syria, but it later became clear that Syrian opposition forces had carried out the attacks.

In January, Israel attacked a group of six Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters in Quneitra, a military source confirmed, saying they were “terrorists who intended to attack Israel.” Among the dead at that time was Hezbollah commander Jihad Mughniyeh, commander of the Syrian Golan sector where today’s attack was carried out. Mughniyeh was the son of the late Hezbollah international operations chief Imad Mughniyeh, assassinated February 12, 2008 in Damascus. Several Iranian troops were also killed in that attack, the semi-official Iranian Tabnak news site reported, including an Iranian commander.

Samir Kuntar Set Up Terror Network in Golan Heights
Samir Kuntar, who became a senior officer in the Hezbollah terror organization after his release from an Israeli prison in 2008, had set up a terror network on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in recent months.

The former Druze member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) served nearly 30 years in an Israeli prison for leading an April 1979 terror attack on Nahariya. Kuntar was responsible for killing three members of the Haran family, including two small children and their father, plus an Israeli police officer. Almost 30 years later he was among five living and 199 dead terrorists swapped for the bodies of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. The Israeli soldiers were abducted and killed by Hezbollah in a cross-border raid that ignited the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

In May of this year, a terrorist cell attempted to place an explosive charge along Israel’s border with Syria, up in the Golan Heights. Defense officials told reporters they believe the cell was headed by Kuntar, operating on instructions from Iran. Reportedly the cell was operating in retaliation for an air strike attributed to Israel destroyed weapons that were being handed over to Hezbollah by the Syrian regime. Sources said the defense establishment believes the cell was being instructed directly from Tehran, rather than via Hezbollah.

Kuntar’s No. 2 Was Golan Druze Villager
Kuntar’s second-in-command – Muwafaq Badiyeh – was assassinated on June 17 in an alleged car bombing on the road between Quneitra and Damascus. The Hezbollah-backed Al Akhbar newspaper blamed the attack on “Mossad agents.”

Badiyeh, like Kuntar, was a Druze and lived his entire life in Hader, and continued to live in the village until his death last month. The village is one of the few in the Syrian Golan Heights – other than Quneitra – that retains its loyalty to the regime.

Kuntar Was Inciting Israeli Druze in Golan Heights
Kuntar had been actively inciting Druze citizens in Israel as well as in Syria to violence in the Golan Heights, community leaders warned. Last month’s lynch by Israeli Druze of an IDF ambulance carrying wounded Syrians to a medical center for expert care was attributed by community leaders to incitement by Kuntar.

“The man … fueling the violent events here in Samir Kuntar,” the chairman of the Druze and Circassian local councils, Jabber Hamud said last month. “We’ve known this fo some time and I call on the heads of the defense establishment to do all that is necessary.”

Hana Levi Julian

Ten Israeli Druze Arrested in Connection to Lynching

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Ten Israeli-Druze have been arrested in connection with the Monday night lynching inside the IDF ambulance, as well as the attack on the ambulance in Horfish.

In Monday night’s attack, Druze citizens attacked an IDF ambulance and murdered the wounded patient being transported from Syria to an Israeli hospital for treatment.

The Druze have accused Israel of assisting Syrian Jabhat al-Nusrah rebels along the Golan Heights border.

A Jabhat al-Nusrah commander massacred 20 Druze in the village of Qalb Lawzah in Idlib provincethe two weeks ago, setting off a firestorm of anger in the international Druze community.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Netanyahu Calls on Druze Leaders to ‘Calm the Mood’

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Monday night to “bring the lawmakers to justice” after Israeli Druze attacked an IDF ambulance bearing wounded Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights, but asked leaders of the community also to “calm the mood.”

One of the two patients was killed in the lynching; the injuries of the second were worsened and he is now in critical condition.

“Nobody can take the law into their own hands,” said Netanyahu during a cybersecurity conference Monday night at Tel Aviv University. “No one can disrupt the missions of IDF soldiers.

“We will locate those who perpetrated this lynch and we will deal with them to the fullest extent of the law,” he went on. “We are a nation of law; we are not part of the anarchy that is spreading around us.

“I call on the heads of the Druze community, a splendid community with whom we have a brotherly bond, citizens of the State of Israel, I call on them to calm the mood and tell each Druze citizen of the State of Israel – respect the law, respect IDF soldiers and do not take law into one’s hands. This is what I ask of our Druze brothers; this is what I ask of all citizens of the State of Israel.”

The attackers, residents of nearby Majdal Shams, suspected the two Syrians were members of the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organization.

“I call on the leadership of the Druze community to turn down the heat and use discretion in their rhetoric,” Netanyahu added.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon condemned the incident in separate remarks in equally strong terms, noting that the “situation in Syria is complex” and pointing out that government officials have been keeping the Israeli Druze leadership “fully updated” as events unfold.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Druze Leadership Condemns Lynch of IDF Ambulance

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

The leadership of the Israeli Druze community also spoke out Monday night to officially condemn the attack on the IDF ambulance bearing Syrian wounded Monday night.

Sheikh Moafik Tarif, head of Israel’s Druze community, said, “This is not our way and we feel pain for what happened. This is a criminal act, carried out by lawless people, and the authorities must take action.”

Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara, a Druze member of the Likud party, also condemned the violence.

“There is no Israeli citizen who does not sympathize with the plight of the Druze in Israel in the face of the life-threatening danger of their brethren in Syria,” Kara said. “But in no case can an ambulance be attacked.

“I condemn the attack. It is immoral, and certainly it is forbidden to endanger the lives of soldiers and civilians.”

Many members of Israel’s Druze community serve as distinguished officers in the IDF and the vast majority of the community’s men serve as soldiers; the only non-Jewish group in Israel to do so in such numbers.

“Unfortunately, as Druze, today we lost the sympathy of the Israeli people due to this serious and unnecessary incident that has no place in an orderly state,” Kara continued.

“Also, I fear that as a result of this incident we have endangered our brothers on the other side.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-druze-leadership-condemns-lynch-of-idf-ambulance/2015/06/23/

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