Israel's Druze spiritual leader denounces suspected retaliatory attack on Palestinians

'This is not the way of Druze soldiers,’ says Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif after 3 IDF troops arrested for allegedly firebombing Palestinian home in retaliation for abduction of Druze teen’s body by militants
Daniel Salami, Einav Halabi, Yoav Zitun|
The spiritual leader of Israel's Druze community, Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif, condemned on Monday afternoon an attack on a Palestinian home allegedly carried out by Druze IDF soldiers in retaliation for the abduction of the body of a Druze teenager by Palestinian militants.
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  • "I denounce any act of violence of any kind, there is no justification or legitimacy of any illegal act toward any person or property," he said in reference to a Monday firebombing of a home near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
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    מואפק טריף
    מואפק טריף
    Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif
    "This is not the way nor the spirit of IDF soldiers in general, and of Druze soldiers in particular. Before any soldier is sentenced, we must wait for the investigation to be completed, and I trust and am confident in the investigating bodies and IDF commanders."
    The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said earlier that the military was investigating the event after the soldiers were arrested. A preliminary probe suggested the incident is connected with the kidnapping of Israeli Druze civilian Tiran Fero, 18, last week.
    Fero and another Israeli Druze had crossed into the northern West Bank city of Jenin from Israel before getting involved in a car accident. While Fero's companion was receiving treatment in Israel after his transfer from a Jenin hospital, Fero's body was taken by gunmen, who allegedly believed him to be a soldier.
    His body was returned to Israel early Thursday, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, in a move facilitated by the Palestinian Authority.
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    טירן פרו, שגופתו נחטפה
    טירן פרו, שגופתו נחטפה
    Tiran Fero
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that the allegations, if found true, are "a serious incident that requires legal scrutiny."
    "I would like to make a clear ethical statement: the IDF has a responsibility for the use of force. The IDF does not resort to violence and IDF soldiers do not take the law into their own hands and carry out acts of retaliation. I trust high command to deal seriously with the incident and, of course, the ongoing investigation," said the minister.
    Fero's uncle Edi also denounced the attack as "disrespectful and unacceptable."
    "We ask all Druze youth out there, soldiers or teenagers, to act with restraint and with honor," he said. "Every person that commits a crime or any action at all that is not accepted by us will be held accountable and we will not support it. These are not our values, this is not in our heritage, this is not our culture and this is not our religion."
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