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12,000 Participate In Unity Race Honoring Israel’s Fallen Druze Soldiers

Israeli Defense Minister and IDF Chief of Staff Join the Event Celebrating Druze Contributions to Society

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(L-R) Deputy Commander of Israel Fire and Rescue Services Northern District Yair Elkayam, Amel Asad, Herzl “Herzi” Halevi, Yehiel Gozal (Photo: Sportphotography)

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Over 12,000 Israelis, including 6,000 IDF soldiers, recently participated in the 9th Unity Race, a commemorative event held in honor of fallen Druze soldiers who lost their lives while serving in Israel’s wars and military operations. Notably, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, were among the participants in this event.

Initiated by the association “Bishvil Habanim” and sponsored by organizations such as Friends of the IDF (FIDF), AFIS, Ha’aguda Lema’an Hachayal, the Lower Galilee Regional Council, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and the Druze Beit Labanim, the Unity Race aimed to spotlight the valuable contributions of the Druze community to Israeli society. It also sought to foster multicultural dialogue and strengthen bonds among different communities in Israel.

Starting in the Lavi Forest in the Lower Galilee, near the sacred site of Nabi Shu’ayb, the race offered various options for participants, including a 10-kilometer and 5-kilometer run, a 3-kilometer public walk, and a 25-kilometer bike ride.

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The event’s founder, Brigadier General (res.) Amal Asad, encouraged the general public to participate, emphasizing the unifying nature of the race during a time of division in the nation. He urged Israelis to show solidarity, extend sympathy and support to bereaved families, and gain insights into the Druze community’s way of life.

The Unity Race not only featured athletic activities but also offered thousands of visitors the opportunity to savor traditional Druze cuisine and partake in various sports and recreational programs suitable for participants of all ages. The race culminated in a festive ceremony attended by bereaved soldiers’ families and high-ranking officers from the security forces.

General (Res.) Yehiel Gozal, FIDF Executive Director, Israel Operations, expressed pride in FIDF’s involvement in the event, underscoring its significance as an annual tribute to the 492 fallen Druze soldiers who sacrificed their lives in defense of the State of Israel. He highlighted the vital role played by Druze soldiers within the IDF and assured support for servicemen and women in all units, with a focus on addressing their specific needs.

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The Druze religious community spans Israel, Lebanon, and Syria, with Israel hosting approximately 150,000 Druze citizens, many of whom serve with pride in the IDF and other security forces. In recognition of their longstanding commitment to Israel’s safety and security, FIDF, in partnership with the Ministry of Defense and with generous support from Haim and Cheryl Saban, is financing the construction of a 25,000-square-foot Druze Heritage Center in Kisra-Sumei, located in Northern Galilee.

This center will serve as a valuable resource hub for the Druze community, offering courses for active-duty soldiers, accommodations for course duration, a conference hall, a heritage room, and a spacious backyard for activities and events. Additionally, it will provide a venue for IDF service preparation and academic courses for discharged soldiers, helping them realize their dreams of higher education. The center will also facilitate gatherings for reserve units, meetings for released soldiers, and employment fairs.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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