Wave of arrests in Druse attacks on IDF ambulances, mob killing of Syrian national

Northern District police carries out arrests in search of those responsible for recent attacks on IDF ambulances transporting injured Syrians.

June 24, 2015 09:57
1 minute read.
Druse in Majdal Shams

Druse rally in Majdal Shams after a IDF ambulance carrying injured Syrians was ambushed by Druse. (photo credit: SHLOMO MOR)


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Northern District police carried out a wave of arrests overnight Tuesday of suspects in two attacks on IDF ambulances on Monday, including an incident that night in which a wounded Syrian national was murdered by a mob outside Neve Atib near Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights.

Although there is still a gag order on the investigation, it can be reported that half of the suspects are from Monday night's incident, during which around 100-150 or more residents of Majdal Shams supposedly carried out a well-planned ambush on an IDF ambulance, attacking and killing one of the two Syrians on board and seriously wounding the other, outside the entrance to Neve Atib.

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It is believed that the mob had prior knowledge that the ambulance was carrying Syrian nationals and that they may have been tipped off by a Druse soldier.

The two IDF soldiers in the ambulance were lightly wounded, as they tried to protect the two Syrians from the mob, the army reported.
Security Analyst Yossi Melman on the Druze ambush and what's behind it

Following Monday night’s attack, the IDF said they are putting in place new regulations for transporting wounded Syrians, including police escorts, to prevent a similar incident in the future.

In the first incident on Monday, an IDF ambulance was chased and attacked outside the village of Hurfeish in the northern Galilee. In that case, a mob set up a roadblock to try and stop an ambulance carrying two wounded Syrians, with some members of the mob throwing stones at the vehicle. The ambulance managed to evade the roadblock but was chased by two vehicles until it reached a police station in Ma’alot-Tarshiha, from where it was given a police escort to a hospital in Nahariya.

Druse communities in the Galilee and the Golan Heights have been following news from Syria very closely the past couple of weeks, as reports have emerged of Druse being killed in fighting with jihadis. Many Druse, including some leaders of the community, have accused Israel of supporting the jihadi rebels, including the al-Qaida linked Nusra Front, by giving their fighters medical treatment in Israel.

Israeli military officials said Monday night that the men attacked outside Neve Atib were not from the Nusra Front and that they have a policy of treating moderate rebels, and their priority is giving treatment to non-combatants.

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