Israeli Druse raise 10 million shekels for Syrian brethren

Syrian Druse are in a difficult situation and we need to support them, says chairman of the Druse Zionist Council for Israel.

July 12, 2015 20:02
1 minute read.
Members of the Druse community watch the fighting in the Druse village of Khadr in Syria

Members of the Druse community watch the fighting in the Druse village of Khadr in Syria as they stand on the Israeli side of the border fence between Syria and the Golan Heights. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Druse in Israel have raised NIS 10 million to support their brethren in Syria, Sheikh Maufak Tarif, the community’s spiritual leader, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The civil war there is creating Druse refugees, the sheikh said, adding that the situation was stable but stressful.

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The chairman of the Druze Zionist Council for Israel, Atta Farhat, meanwhile, estimates that more than 11 million shekels have been raised from all Druse areas of the country so far, emphasizing that the fund-raising efforts are ongoing and that the Druse here are loyal to the state and respect its laws.

The Syrian Druse are in a difficult situation and need our support but there is a situation of “silent tension” with regard to them, he said, stressing that the move to provide humanitarian aid should not be seen as a political move to support one side or the other in the Syrian civil war.

Syria’s Druse community have long been loyal to President Bashar Assad while Israeli Druse have been lobbying the government to safeguard the community in Syria.

Two weeks ago, Israel said it provided humanitarian aid to select rebel groups on the border with Syria contingent on them undertaking not to harm the country’s Druse minority.

The Nusra Front, an al-Qaida offshoot hostile to Syria’s Druse community, was not among the rebels receiving Israeli help, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told lawmakers at the time.

Enraged by rumors Nusra fighters might be among the hundreds of Syrians admitted for medical treatment on the Golan Heights last month, Druse groups attacked two ambulances bringing in civil war casualties, killing one.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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