Druze soldiers of the IDF’s Herev Battalion in training 521.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon expressed outrage over an incident reported by
the Israeli media in which three Druse soldiers were delayed entry to the Dimona
nuclear plant while Jewish soldiers accompanying them were waved in.
incident is serious and outrageous, and it absolutely contradicts all our
policies,” Ya’alon said. “It is difficult to stand by and watch such
discrimination, but this incident will not damage the ties between the State of
Israel and the Druse.”
The defense minister added that the Druse
community was “at the heart of the IDF and its contribution is impressive and
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reacted to the report of discrimination on Saturday saying that the necessary lessons must be learned from the incident.
"Our Druse brothers are part of us. They serve in combat units in the IDF and they should be treated as equals," Israel Radio reported the PM saying.
A Druse officer and two Druse soldiers were forced to wait
outside the gates of the highly secure site while fellow soldiers from the air
force were allowed in for a training exercise.
After half an hour they
were permitted entry.
The incident was revealed on Friday by the Hebrew
daily Yediot Aharonot
, although it took place a number of weeks ago.
father of one of the Druse soldiers expressed anger during a Friday interview on
“This is a humiliation. Everyone arrived, and suddenly the
Druse soldiers are told they cannot come in,” he said.
report, the IDF Spokesman’s Office said the incident would be
A spokesperson for the nuclear site said entry was
contingent on a security check, and the Druse soldiers were allowed in following
such a procedure, Army Radio reported.
Majalli Wahabi, a former Likud and
Kadima MK from the Druse community, told Army Radio that the incident reflected
“It is inconceivable that there are organizations
that do not fully trust the Druse, a group that has been an integral part of the
state from the War of Independence until today,” Wahabi said.