A leader of Israel's Druze Arab community on Wednesday said that the events surrounding a second bulldozer terrorist attack in Jerusalem a day earlier was evidence of the sect's ongoing loyalty to the State of Israel.
Tuesday's attack, which left at least 16 people wounded when a Jerusalem Arab plowed into traffic with an earth-moving bulldozer, came to an end when an armed Israeli civilian and a Druze Border Police officer attacked the terrorist.
The armed civilian, Yaakov Asael, was reportedly the first to fire, with Border Police officer Amal Ganem quickly joining the fight with his assault rifle. After initially firing from skewed angle, Ganem moved to another side of the still-rampaging bulldozer and opened fire again, this time killing the terrorist.
Druze community leader Sheikh Muafiek Tarif told Ynet that "the Druze sect has shown its loyalty to the State of Israel for years now. Today, the resourcefulness of Amal Ganem, a Druze community member, proved our loyalty to the State of Israel."
Tarif continued by calling Ganem, "who acted quickly and without hesitation in order to prevent further casualties," a "model to thousands of young Druze who have acted and are acting on behalf of the State of Israel."
The Druze, whose religion lies somewhere between Islam and Judaism and reveres Moses' father-in-law Jesse as its patriarch, are usually fiercely loyal to whatever nation in which they reside, including the Jewish state. Following the establishment of State of Israel, Druze leaders insisted that the Israeli army impose mandatory military service on their community's young men just as it does on Israeli Jews.
However, the past year has seen an increase in tension between Israeli Jews and the Druze communities in parts of northern Israel. Druze leaders have been quick calm the situation, while urging Israel to show greater appreciation to an Arab sector that has traditionally been as loyal to the Jewish state as most Jews.