Druse suspect arrested in Majdal Shams

Man's capture sparked near-riot in northern village.

majdal shams 298.88 (photo credit: GPO)
majdal shams 298.88
(photo credit: GPO)
The standoff that nearly erupted into rioting on Sunday night in the Druse village of Majdal Shams on the Golan was triggered by the arrest of a man suspected of security offenses, police said on Monday.
Fada Sha’ar, of Majdal Shams, was arrested on Sunday night by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Israel Police’s International Crimes Unit, it was revealed on Monday. The suspect’s custody was extended by eight days by the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court.
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Unlike Israeli Druse, almost all the residents of Majdal Shams and the three other Druse villages on the Golan Heights identify as Syrians.
Sunday’s confrontation ended peacefully thanks to the efforts of village elders and a police negotiations team.
Several officers had entered a home in the early evening to conduct a search and make arrests, police said.
Before long, more than 1,000 villagers surrounded the home and refused to allow the officers to leave. Police dispatched a negotiations team that spoke with village elders.
Many riot policemen armed with crowd dispersal equipment were ordered to the village by Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen, in case the negotiations failed.