(JNS.org) Druze in the northern Israeli town of Hurfeish stopped an Israel Defense Forces ambulance early on Monday that was transporting wounded Syrian rebel fighters over concerns about which groups the fighters belonged to.
A number of residents of the village stopped the ambulance and demanded that they inspect the passengers to see what rebel groups the wounded fighters were part of. Additional reports indicate that some Druze villagers threw rocks at the ambulance.
Many Druze have been upset by Israel’s policy of treating all wounded fighters from the Syrian conflict—including some who may be part of rival Sunni Muslim rebel groups—for medical treatment.
Farah Sabeq, who serves as secretary of the Hurfeish municipality, said that many of the residents were “incensed by the situation in Syria.”
“We condemn this as we would any illegal activity, but especially here, as it involved the security forces—in all branches of which Hurfeish residents serve,” Sabeq said, Reuters reported.
The leader of the Israeli Druze community, Sheikh Muwafaq Tarif, condemned the confrontation, saying, “the kind of provocation that harms our interests and those of our Druze brothers over the border.”
Last week, Syrian rebel forces—including many affiliated with the al-Qaeda-linked terror group Jabhat al-Nusra—surrounded the Syrian Druze village of Hader. Al-Nusra fighters also recently massacred at least 20 Druze in a village in the northern Syrian province of Idlib.