By Aaron Klein
“Israel must do everything in its power to stop any further Druze massacres in Syria,” stated Israeli Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara, a Druze lawmaker from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party.
Speaking to KleinOnline, Kara said Israel should consider allowing some Druze refugees from Syria to enter Israel if the situation calls for it.
“I’m sure we have solutions for any situation,” Kara added.
However, Israeli military sources say there is no pending massacre on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. There was a reported massacre of Druze last week in a village deeper inside Syria. Druze people follow a faith that incorporates elements of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and more. They make up about 3 percent of Syria’s pre-war population of 23 million.
Druze Zionist Council head Atta Farhat appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon for help.
Yet Farhat, speaking to KleinOnline, expressed some concern that any outward Israeli intervention in Syria could be utilized by the Islamist rebels to further incite against Syria’s Druze.
Indeed, according to local reports citing defense officials, an Israel Defense Forces intervention in Syria has been ruled out, as it would be perceived as Israeli meddling in the Syrian civil war.
However, Israel has relayed messages to Sunni rebel groups fighting on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights warning them to not enter the Druze village of Khadr, which is located near the northern Israeli border.
Last week, human rights groups reported at least 20 Druze villagers were shot dead in a massacre carried out by extremist Islamist elements of the al-Nusra Front rebel force.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that elderly Druze and at least one child were among the civilians killed in Qalb Lawzah in Idlib province last Wednesday.
The Al Nusra claimed the Druze massacre in Idlib was an “unjustified mistake” committed by local fighters operating loosely under its network. It vowed to put those fighters on trial in an Islamic court.
This week, there were rampant claims on social media and in some news media outlets that the Druze village of Khadr near Israel was surrounded by Al Nusra forces and either civilians were already being killed or faced an imminent massacre.
However, a high-ranking Israeli army officer who serves in the Golan Heights told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper the rumors of a pending or current Druze massacre in Syria near the Israeli border were baseless.
“There’s no massacre,” the officer said. “There was disinformation which seemed to me to verge on the improbable, like the reports that dozens of wounded are on the border fence, waiting to go in. It didn’t happen. I think they took things here in unrealistic directions.”
The officer did confirm fighting between rebels and regime forces near the Israeli border, promoting an air raid siren to go off in Israel on Tuesday.
Other Israeli military sources told numerous Israeli media outlets there was no pending massacre on the Israeli side of the Syrian border.
An IDF source told KleinOnline the army is ready to deal with “any eventuality,” including refugees approaching the Israeli border.