Suspects arrested in Druze attack on ambulances in Golan Heights
Nine Druze from Israel and the Golan Heights have been arrested and charged with the Monday lynching of two wounded Syrians
, who were being brought to Israel by ambulance for treatment, in the Golan Heights near the Syrian border.
Inflamed by media reports suggesting some of
the hundreds of wounded Syrians who have been admitted to Israel for
medical care belong to jihadi rebel groups fighting the Druze in Syria,
the crowds of Druze blocked two army ambulances for inspection.
ambulance managed to escape with crew and patients unharmed. In the
other, a Syrian casualty was killed and another seriously wounded in
what Israeli officials described as a lynching. Two troops accompanying
them were also injured.
Islamists see the Druze, whose religion is an offshoot of Islam, as
apostates to be combated. Druze in Syria and many in the Golan Heights,
which Israel captured from Syria in 1967, have long been loyal to
President Bashar al-Assad.
news agency SANA on Tuesday described those behind the lethal ambulance
attack as "heroic Syrian young men" and alleged they had targeted
wounded insurgents from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
Israel's stated policy is to offer medical treatment to Syrians regardless of possible affiliation to armed groups.
Druze communal and spiritual leaders from Israel
and the Golan mobilized to stem further flare-ups, issuing an edict on
Tuesday warning any Druze engaging in such violence that they risked
ostracism from the close-knit sect.
The West has never understood how much of the Middle East is tribal and clan-based. The 'countries' in the Middle East were creations of the era following World War I, and to this day, most of these peoples' loyalty is to their tribes and clans and not to the countries in which they nominally live. The Druze support Assad because they are a minority like him (Assad is an Alawite) and because they fear the Islamists (who consider them apostates) even more.
Labels: ambulance, Bashar al-Assad, Druze, Golan Heights, Syria