PM remarks on incident where Druze soldiers were denied entry during security drill at Dimona facility, saying ‘they are our flesh & blood, they should be treated as equals’
By Attila Somfalvi
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on an incident in which Druze soldiers were not allowed to enter the Dimona reactor as part of a security drill and said that lessons must be drawn from it. “Our brothers the Druze are our flesh and blood. They serve in combat units in the IDF and should be treated as equals,” he said.
The incident occurred several weeks ago and was first reported by Yedioth Ahronoth. A bus full of Air Force soldiers participating in a security drill arrived at the Dimona reactor. The soldiers were asked to hand their IDs to the officer in change.
He returned several minutes later informing the group that the three Druze soldiers, including one officer, were not allowed to enter the premises. They were told the order came from the Negev Nuclear Research Center.
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“Why are we not allowed to enter? Because we’re Druze?” one of the soldiers asked. They later noted that the other soldiers were shocked and some offered to stay with them on the bus. “It was a terrible feeling of humiliation,” one of them recounted. “We felt like we worthless. I wanted to toss out my uniform and run home.”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon described the event as “serious and infuriating” and promised that lessons will be drawn. “The incident goes against any policy, even if one person or another hides behind protocol. It’s hard to stand by in the face of such discrimination and imperviousness, but this act will not harm the alliance between the State of Israel and the Druze people. They are at the heart of activity in the IDF and defense establishment and their contribution to the State of Israel is considerable.”
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4459692,00.html