Syria: Not All Druze Students Return Home to Israel

Not all Druze students studying in Syria returned home to Israel at the end of the school year, according to the International Red Cross.

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Chana Ya'ar,

View from the Golan
View from the Golan
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Not all Druze students studying in Syria who applied, received permission to return home to Israel at the end of the school year, according to information released by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

ICRC spokesperson for Israel Ran Goldstein noted in a radio interview Thursday the many humanitarian hardships in Syria, including injuries, lack of food, medical care and water.

He added that now at least some of the students would be able to cross the border and “return to their homes in the Golan Heights.”

Many male members of the Druze community serve in the IDF, except for those from the Golan Heights, who often still identify themselves as Syrian.

The border along the Golan Heights has become increasingly dangerous as Syria's civil war begins to spill over into neighboring nations, including Israel.

About 50 Druze students had gone to Syria for higher education studies in Damascus at the start of the academic year, as has happened in past years. Each year they return through the crossing at Quneitra.

The crossing has served for many years as a thoroughfare for Golan Druze farmers to export their apples to merchants in Syria, and for Syrian Druze brides to cross into Israel to wed their prospective husbands.

The fate of the remaining Golan Druze students is not clear, however, and their whereabouts was not reported.