Lavi, Israel—Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) sponsored a portion of the cost for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers to run a race memorializing the IDF’s fallen Druze soldiers.
Thousands of runners and cyclists, families of fallen heroes and active-duty IDF soldiers participated in today’s race, hosted by BShvil HaBanim HaDruzim and opened by IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir. The route in the lower Galilee included running, walking and cycling. The race’s closing ceremony was held at the most sacred Druze site, the tomb of Nabi Shu’ayb, near Kfar Zeitim.
The race was dedicated to the memory of Israeli Druze police officers Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Hael Sathawi, 30, and Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Shanan, 22, who were killed by terrorists at the Temple Mount on July 14, and the other fallen Druze members of Israel’s military and security forces.
Distinguished guests at the closing event included Eisenkot; Klifi-Amir; Sheikh Muwaffak Tarif, the spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel; Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked; Minister of Communications Ayoob Kara; Israel Border Police Commander Maj. Gen. Yaakov (Kobi) Shabtai; and other members of the Knesset and community leaders.
The Druze religious community is spread mainly across Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. Israel’s Druze population numbers about 130,000. Most Druze proudly serve in the IDF and security forces. During Israel’s wars and military operations, 421 Druze soldiers have lost their lives.