Israeli Druze lawmaker Akram Hasson said Friday that four of the nine men killed in a car bombing in the Syrian village of Hader in the Golan Heights are members of his extended family.
Hasson is a member of the Kulanu party and hails from the Druze village of Dalyat el Karmel in northern Israel. He said that there was a lot of anger among the Druze community following the deadly suicide bombing carried out Friday morning by jihadist from the Janhar al Nusra group.
Four of the dead were members of the Hasson family, the MK said. “The Hassons are the largest family in the village. There are still dozens of people wounded there.”
“You need to understand, these are groups of murderers butchering their own people,” Hasson told Hebrew language website Ynet.
“I have said this before to the army and the government. Each of these groups, in which we have believed in the past, eventually turned their barrels toward us.”
“We cannot trust them. I know that the Assad army uses the Druze for its own ends. We trust the IDF, it is our country, but the residents in Hader are our brothers, our family. We cannot allow them to be hurt,” the lawmaker added.
“The entire Druze community in Israel has arrived in the Golan Heights,” Hasson said.
After the attack hundreds of Druze residents of the Israeli Golan Heights gathered near the border fence. A number burst through the separation fence with Syria on Friday afternoon in order to reach Hader
Israeli troops chased after the group of approximately 10 Druze men, who had made it dozens of meters past the border fence, and returned them, the military said.
Though they breached the fence, the men remained in Israeli territory, never crossing into Syria, the army said.
Dozens more rallied near the border fence, also threatening to cross into Syria in order to fight alongside their families and coreligionists.
“This behavior is a serious violation of the law, and a life-threatening act,” the IDF said in a statement.
“The IDF asks all civilians to refrain from approaching or crossing the fence. Events are [being] monitored and under [the] control of security forces,” the military said.
National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat also met with the head of Israel’s Druze community, Mowafaq Tarif, and assured him that Israel would not allow jihadists to take over the Syrian village.
Tarif also met with the head of the IDF’s Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, in order to hear about the army’s plans to protect Hader, the military said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in London on a state visit, released a statement of support for the Druze.
“We will safeguard our borders, our southern border and our northern border. And we recognize the amity we feel toward our brothers, the Druze,” he said.
Additional IDF troops and police were also called to the Golan Heights in order to prevent further attempts by Druze residents to cross into Syria.
Roads in the area were also blocked off.
After the suicide bombing on Friday morning, the IDF released a rare statement promising to “support the [Hader] village residents and work to prevent any harm or the occupation of the village, out of a commitment to the Druze population.”
IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis also denied a claim by the Syrian government that Israel was involved in or supported the suicide bombing in Hader.