Golan Druze divided over Syrian strife

The Druze residents of Majdal Shams differ in opinion over Assad’s regime, with some angrily calling alleged Israeli air-strike ‘terrorism,’ while others are calling for Syrian president’s elimination.

By Hassan Shaalan

 

 

Most residents of northern Druze village of Majdal Shams believe that a war will break out soon. The explosion shockwaves are very well felt in the border-adjacent Druze village, in which most residents profess they are part of the Syrian people.

מג'דל שמס. על הגבול (צילום: Google Maps)

Majdal Shams – Photo: Google Maps

The latest alleged Israeli attack in Syria caused much controversy in the village. Some residents support the Assad regime, and see the attack as “a terrorist act”. Others condemn Syrian President Bashar Assad and the killing of civilians in the country, and support “eliminating” the regime.

Hani Abu Saleh, Majdal Shams resident, told Ynet about the tension: “We feel that soon our area will heat up, and we will be in real danger. Unfortunately, the Syrian regime has no say. They have no way of defending the citizens.”

According to him, the alleged Israeli strike is an example of the Assad regime weakness: “There was no response from him. Every time he says he wants to respond, and his words are worthless. It proves the regime only attacks its own people and makes every effort possible to kill as many Syrian civilians.”

Abu Saleh supports taking an action against Assad: “It is time to take down the Syrian regime; it is destroying the life in Syria. If the bloodshed isn’t stopped, I am in favor of attacking the regime and eliminating it.

Another resident, Kahlon Ganadi, takes a different stand and supports the Syrian regime. He finds it hard to believe that Assad’s men are behind the mass killing in the country. In regards to the attack in Syria, he says: “It’s a terrorist attack. It is a crime that verifies the statement claiming Israel is responsible for the mess in Syria. God willing the day will come in which the Syrian regime will wipe out all the terrorists, they shouldn’t be called ‘rebels.'”

He explained that he and his family members support the Syrian regime, “because it is our country. We cannot give up on it until we die. If a war will break out, we are all losers. We will have a regional war. At the end we will get our rights and go back to living under the Syrian regime.”

According to him, “we are not so afraid, and due to the security situation, we have begun preparing. We have enough food to last a year ahead. What worries us about a potential war is the issue of destruction. It is a shame everything would go wrong and destroy hopes for peace. My kids can’t understand the concept of war. They worry, asked what would happen in a few days. I talk to them and try to calm them down, so that they’re not afraid.”

In regards to living in Israel he said, “It is our reality, but if we go back to Syria – it will be better. We will stand by the regime in good and bad days, to the end.”

His family members live in Syria, and according to Ganadi, his brother who lives in a village near Damascus often reports to him about explosion sounds, to which “they have grown accustomed to.”

His brother is also certain that “the terrorists which they call ‘rebels’ are the ones behind the bloodshed. They came to Syria to destroy and kill civilians, they were sent by the US and Qatar. They must be destroyed at any cost.”

 

‘Assad should give up’

Naturally, he opposes the attack in Syria. “We were angry over what had happened in the past few days. The Syrians deserve to respond to the attack and defend themselves.”

אסד באוניברסיטת דמשק בשבוע שעבר (צילום: AP)

Assad at Damascus University last week – Photo: AP

For him, “Bashar Assad is our president and pride. I call on him to continue in the struggle and kill all the terrorists. If there is war, he should not hesitate and do anything to get the Golan back. I am in favor of war if it means getting the Golan back.”

He calls on Israel “to be wiser, go in the direction of peace with all Arab countries.”

However, another Druze resident from the village of Bukata in the Golan expressed strong criticism towards the Assad regime. She said she had talked to a relative in Syria a couple of days ago, and she told her that “every day Syrian soldiers come up with a different way to kill civilians.”

She added, “We are sick of the atmosphere that is risking our lives. We demand help. Even on the day Syria was attacked, many civilians there were happy.”

Her family members from Bukata fear the future. “We are very afraid of war; we will be hurt and suffer spiritually, socially and economically. If there is war, we will demand being provided with shelters to save our lives. I call on Assad to give up, so that Syrian citizens could live in peace.”

קריקטורה שפורסמה בעיתונות הערבית לאחר התקיפה. אסד מסיר אבק מ"זכות התגובה"

Caricature from Arab press, following attack in Syria

Yet Syria National TV chose only to report on Syrian citizens who condemn Israel and favor Assad. The anchorwoman stressed that the citizens believe that attack was executed since the Syrian army defeated the rebels who are cooperating with Israel.

In an article covering the views of “occupied Golan” residents, an interviewee said: “This is clear proof that Israel supports terror, al-Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra. The Syrian army has won and will win the battle, and that is why Israel has executed the attack against Syria.”

Another interviewee said, “We see here the alliance between Israel, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, against the will of the Arab countries.”

A different interviewee claimed, “We have known for some time, since the beginning of the plotting against our nation, that the Zionist enemy is behind it.”

It was not mentioned in which Golan village the article was filmed.

 

View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4377281,00.html

 

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