The Israeli Arab villages of Deir el-Asad and Iksal laid to rest six residents
on Thursday after a fatal car crash in Nesher, near Haifa, on Wednesday. Fifteen
others were injured in the incident.
Thousands turned out for the
funerals and many came from surrounding villages to show their support for the
families of the victims: Riad Drausha, 45, and his nephew, Ahmed Drausha, 17,
from the village of Iksal, and Dahash Salah Amoun, 17; Raid Farid Omar, 40;
Karim Musa Dabach, 18; and his cousin, Abed Alkleim Dabach, 18, from the village
of Deir el-Asad.
Naser Sanallah, the head of the Deir al-Asad
municipality, appeared visibly shaken by the loss of four members of his
He told The Jerusalem Post that the municipality and the
families decided to hold a joint funeral for the victims and to hold a memorial
ceremony at the village community center.
“Everyone in the village knew
them and many people have come here today from outside of our village,” said
Sanallah, adding that the village is helping the families cope with their
Dr. Ali Nama, the director of Haian Medical Center, which privately
treats patients in northern Arab villages, told the Post that he was not
directly involved with treating the patients and his son, Tamer Nama, said that
there were at least 3,000 people in the village for the funeral.
went on to explain the traditional way that the burial is carried out, saying
that the bodies first are placed in the home of the family and the women of the
village congregate there while the men meet elsewhere until the bodies are ready
to be carried from the home to the cemetery. In this case, the men gathered at
the community center, which lies at the very top of the hill that the village
Tamer said that he himself came from Tel Aviv for the funeral,
which was held at 5 p.m.
“It does not matter if you do not know the
victims personally,” said Tamer, adding that “you should still take
He said that the village suffered a loss a week earlier – another
resident was killed in a motorcycle accident in the US and his body was flown
back to be buried in the village – so this accident came as another shock for
It seemed that most of the village took part in the
funeral procession, walking along the windy downward roads, mostly in silence,
toward the small cemetery surrounded by a short stone wall topped with a black
metal railing. Not everyone could fit inside the cemetery and most gathered in a
crowd surrounding it. For the most part, people remained locked in silence,
although chanting could be heard during the prayer service.