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The 2 IDF soldiers hurt by the Druze mob in Monday's attack were also Druze

Israel arrests more Druze over Syrian lynching

Total of 12 people detained for suspected involvement in ambulance attack that left one Syrian dead and another hurt

An IDF ambulance that was attacked by Druze Israeli residents in the Golan Heights as it ferried Syrian war casualties into Israel for medical treatment, June 22, 2015. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
An IDF ambulance that was attacked by Druze Israeli residents in the Golan Heights as it ferried Syrian war casualties into Israel for medical treatment, June 22, 2015. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Israeli police said Thursday they arrested three more suspects in attacks by members of the Druze minority on military ambulances transporting wounded Syrians to the hospital.

In one of two incidents Monday, one Syrian was beaten to death and a second was hurt in an unprecedented outbreak of violence by Druze on the Golan Heights that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “lynching.”

Two soldiers were also injured in the incident while trying to protect the wounded Syrians. Both soldiers were also members of the Druze community, according to a report in Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth Thursday.

Syria’s Druze are traditional allies of President Bashar aAssad, and have become caught up in the fighting.

“During the night, police and border guards in the north arrested three more suspects from the Druze community suspected of involvement in the events,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.

She said a gag order had been imposed on all other details of the investigation.

Police said they carried out a “wave of arrests” Wednesday, with media saying nine people had been detained.

Monday’s deadly incident took place hours after Druze in the neighboring Galilee region of Israel blocked and stoned a military ambulance they suspected was taking Syrian rebels to the hospital.

Both incidents demonstrate the anger felt by Druze towards the rebels and towards the Israelis, whom they suspect of providing medical help to the fighters.

Israel does not rule out the possibility that some of those given medical care are rebels.

Syria has said the two men in the ambulance were members of Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front. Israel says they were civilians.

The Druze are a secretive offshoot of Shiite Islam. Officials say there are 110,000 of them in northern Israel and another 20,000 on the Golan Heights.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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