An 18-year-old Israeli with excellent grades and training as a civilian pilot wants to join the Israeli Air Force as a fighter pilot, but one thing may stop him: He is an Arab Muslim. The teen, one of few Arabs in the Israeli army, has already passed first stages of the draft and requested a spot in the air force’s prestigious pilot training course. He would be the country's first Israeli-Arab military pilot. “I ask that you allow me to fulfill my dream and my civil duty to serve in the army… my greatest dream and aspiration is to become a pilot,” he wrote to the army. According to army sources, the youth’s request is unusual and will be examined. While Arab Muslims in Israel make up about 20 percent of the population, only 20 join the army each year.
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