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Daily Israel Report

Druze Leader Sends Message of Solidarity to Teens' Families

'As the leader of the Druze community, I want to give you strength in the face of this violent criminal act of terrorism,' Sheikh writes.
By Yedidya Ben-Or
First Publish: 6/17/2014, 5:19 PM

Sheikh Muafeq Tarif (file)
Sheikh Muafeq Tarif (file)
Flash90

The spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, Sheikh Muafeq Tarif, sent a letter of support to the families of kidnapped teens Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Gilad Sha'ar Tuesday. 

"Since Thursday night, the thoughts of all the Druze in Israel have been directed to the fate of your sons," the Sheikh wrote. "Your destiny is our destiny - and the hope for a quick release bring you and us together."

"I cannot imagine where your thoughts have gone since this awful experience began last week, but rest assured that with your strength, and tremendous faith, you will soon hug your children," he continued.

The Sheikh stressed that the Druze community views Hamas as terrorists, and that the kidnapping was a terrorist act. 

"As the leader of the Druze community in Israel, I want to give you strength in the face of this violent criminal act of terrorism, as there is no other way to define [this kidnapping]," he said. 

Sheikh Tarif also said that many members of the community are currently part of the IDF operation to rescue the boys. Israeli Druze Arabs, unlike other Arabs or Bedouin, have made a communal commitment to join the IDF.  

"I know that the best combat soldiers and commanders of the Druze community have made every effort in locating the children and capturing the kidnappers," he said. "This is our opportunity, as a Druze minority in Israel, to express solidarity with you and with security forces and the country."

"The entire Druze community prays for the release of children and stands by you with every request or need," he added.