Thousands take part in race commemorating fallen Druze policemen
IDF Chief of Staff Eisenkott launches annual race, dedicated this year to Sgt. Maj. Ha'il Satawi and Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Shnaan, who were murdered in Temple Mount terror attack last July; 'They will remain in our hearts, we will not forget them,' promise members of their families.
Thousands of participants took part Friday in a race to commemorate the 421 Druze fighters who fell in all of Israel's battles and terror attacks.
This year's race was in memory of Border Policemen Ha'il Satawi and Kamil Shnaan who were killed in a terror attack on the Temple Mount.
"It isn't easy for us to attend an event our sons are missing," said members of the Satawi and Shnaan families. "However, they will remain in our hearts, we will not forget them. They sacrificed their lives for the state. "
The race was attended by Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott, ministers and MKs. The Association for Druze Boys invited the public to participate in the event, together with the leader of the Druze community, Sheikh Muafak Tarif, the head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, Moti Dotan, and the head of the Hurfeish council and chairman of the Druze community forum Mufid Mar'i.
The race was held for the fifth year. In view of the large number of participants, the location of the race was shifted to Nebi Shuaib, near the Golani Junction.
Shakib Shnaan , Kamil Shnaan's father, expressed his hope that "we will not feel more discriminated against in the country. May they stop destroying our homes instead of destroying the houses of the terrorists. I'm an Israeli and proud of it."
Sheikh Mustapha Tarif said: "The families of the martyrs feel great sadness and longing for the family members who fell in the defense of the homeland, but there is hope and optimism for the sake of the continuation of life in the state of all of us.
Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked also arrived at the scene, saying that "in 1956, the leaders of the community came to the Israeli leadership and asked to apply the draft law to the Druze. Today, more than 80% of the Druze community is enlisted, more than the percentage of Jews. Every one of us who was in the army is inextricably connected with the community and with its sons. "
The Tomb of Yitro (Nebi Shu'ayb), the holiest site for Druze in the Lower Galilee, is located near Karnei Hittin. The new location of the race allows the thousands of participants to be exposed to other landscapes and sites along the Druze Boys Trail, which extends over 226 kilometers and crosses the 18 Druze villages.
The murders of Satawi and Shnaan aroused waves of sympathy, solidarity, love and solidarity across borders from thousands of Israelis throughout the country and the world.
This year, the race was produced in joint effort between the Association for the Druze Boys, the Friends of the IDF in the United States and Panama (FIDF), the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Jewish National Fund and the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee.