Muslim-Druze Tensions Erupt In Violence

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

Tensions between Druze and Muslims in northern Israel turned violent over the weekend, as over 40 people were injured in clashes involving rock-throwing and gunfire, Arutz Sheva reported.

Police resorted to tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the rioters overnight on Friday. But hostility between the two communities has not abated, and more trouble was thought likely.

The flare-up in the mixed Muslim-Druze town of Abu Snan was apparently the result of an altercation in a local high school during the week when two Muslim students wearing kaffiyehs were confronted by two Druze students who demanded they remove the scarves. The students began to fight, and the administration decided to send all students home early.

Abu Snan, in the western Galil, has a population of 13,000 residents, 7,000 Muslim, 4,000 Druze and the rest are Christian Arabs.

The Druze, while also ethnic Arabs, serve in the Israeli army and are more integrated into Israeli society, and so have refrained from joining Arab protests in the area, thus straining tensions with their neighbors.