Druse upheaval in Majdal al-Shams

Police searching a house surrounded by 1,000 angry residents.

A Druse village in the Golan Heights. (photo credit: AP)
A Druse village in the Golan Heights.
(photo credit: AP)
A tense standoff between a massive crowd and police in the Druse village of Majdal al-Shams in the Golan ended peacefully on Sunday night thanks to the efforts of village elders and a police negotiation team.
Several officers had entered a home to conduct a search as part of a police investigation in the early evening, police said.
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Before long, a crowd of over 1,000 villagers surrounded the home and refused to allow the officers to leave.
During the height of the incident, police dispatched a negotiation team to the village, to begin a dialogue with village elders. The elders then attempted to persuade the crowd to allow the trapped policemen to leave.
Meanwhile, large numbers of riot police armed with crowd dispersal means were ordered to the village by Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen, in case the negotiations failed. The backup forces included elite anti-terror forces, Special Patrol forces and Border Police.
The rescue operation was overseen by Northern District Police head Cmdr. Shimon Koren.
Ultimately, after a standoff lasting over an hour and a half, negotiations were successful and the crowd dispersed, allowing the officers to leave the home, accompanied by local leaders.