Family members are in shock after the graves of three Druze soldiers were vandalized in the Israeli Arab town of Shfar’am.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The desecration of the graves of three Druze soldiers “crossed a red line,” the son of one of the fallen IDF warriors said Tuesday.
Unknown vandals targeted the tombstones with spray paint in the military section of the cemetery in the Israeli-Arab town of Shfar’am, located in the Galilee area about 12 kilometers (7 miles) east of Haifa.
The graves of Private Muhammad Ismail Abu-Shah, who fell in Israel’s War of Independence, Staff Sergeant Ibrahim Shibel, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Gaza in 1993, and Border Police Senior Sergeant Ayman Hanifas, who was killed in the line of duty in 2008, were damaged.
“My father fell in Gaza when I was a baby. Every year on Memorial Day I go up there and stand at attention – thanks to these people we live here in peace,” Wassim Shibel told Israel Army Radio.
“All the red lines have been crossed” he said of the vandalism.
Several people posted anonymous reactions on Ibrahim Shibel’s obituary page on the official government website honoring Israel’s war dead.
“What they did to your tombstone made more people come here and remember you. The victory is ours, brother,” was the first comment.
“Those who think they can void your honor with spray paint will never understand that your honor continues to exist within every person who lives in this country thanks to you. Thank you for the sacrifice,” posted another person.
Ibrahim Shibel, then 29 and a father of two infants, was called up to reserve duty in 1993 and deployed to Gaza the day after the signing of the Oslo Accords under which the Palestinians agreed to negotiate for a peaceful two-state solution. On what was supposed to be their final patrol, Shibel’s jeep was attacked by Palestinian terrorists and he and another IDF soldier were killed on the spot.
Wassim Shibel, now 28, was only nine months old when his father was killed. Earlier this year he said in a radio interview that it was tough growing up without a father.
“I was just a baby and don’t remember anything about him. I only know him from pictures and stories from family members and friends,” Shibel said. “It’s very hard to fill that void.”
“I try to honor his memory with deeds. He is always in my heart and is accompanying me to every place in my life,” he said, explaining that he volunteers with a national organization that memorializes fallen soldiers by taking Israelis on tours to the places they were at and telling their stories.
“This way we march in the places our fallen, our heroes, came and fought for,” Shibel said.