Syrians irate over elections in Israeli Druze villages

While civil war ravages their country, Syrian protesters fume over democratic elections in Israel. 

Syrians from the Quneitra province on Sunday staged a protest to condemn what they termed “the illegal Zionist decision” to hold elections at the Druze local councils in the Golan Heights.

Israel’s Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri last week announced that the Druze communities of Majdal Shams, Mas’ada, Buqaata, Ayn Qenya, and al-Ghajar would hold their first-ever democratic elections for the local village council.

The Syrian protesters alleged that “the Golan has always been and will remain a Syrian Arab land, that the occupation [Israel’s presence] will end, the Golan will return to Syrian national sovereignty and that all decisions issued by the occupation authorities are null, void and illegitimate.”

Quneitra’s Governor, Ahmad Sheikh Abdul-Qader, stressed the “illegality of the decision of the Zionist entity” and claimed that the decision comes as another attempt by Israel to “Judaize” the Golan.

The Quneitra province, situated adjacent to Israel’s northern border, has been the scene of prolonged, heavy, and at time vicious, fighting between the Assad regime forces and various rebel factions, which at times has spilled into Israeli territory.

Syria further launched an official complaint with the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC).

A Country of Justice and Democracy

However, the Druze residents and potential voters welcomed the pending elections.

One local Druze activist told Israel’s NRG news that he never doubted that Israel is “a country of justice and democracy, and have always believed that its legal system protects human rights.”

He said the decision to hold the elections is “historic” and will have significant positive ramifications on the lives of the locals.

“The Golan Heights have been an integral part of the Land of Israel since ancient times; the dozens of ancient synagogues in the area around us attest to this,” Netanyahu stated in April.

The Jewish people’s historical roots in the Golan run back over three millennia. The State of Israel gained control of the strategically important Golan Heights during the 1967 Six-Day War. The Knesset voted to annex the Golan Heights in December 1981.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News