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November 5, 2014 11:51 am

Druze ‘an Inseparable Part of Israeli Society,’ Housing Minister Says

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The courtyard of the complex that houses Jethro's Tomb. Photo: PikiWiki Israel. – Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) met with Druze leaders on Tuesday to mark the decision to lease the Nabi Shuayb holy site, commonly known as Jethro’s Tomb, to the Nabi Shuayb nonprofit association.

Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, is known as Shuayb in Islam and is a major figure in the Druze religion. He is believed to have been buried near Tiberias in northern Israel.

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Three months ago, the Israel Land Authority, which Ariel heads, decided to lease Jethro’s Tomb to the Druze. Under the terms of the deal, the state will lease the site and an additional 49 dunams (12 acres) of land to the Druze for a symbolic sum of 18 shekels ($4.74).

The decision is expected to end a years-long dispute over use of the site and respond to the religious needs of the Druze, as well as to acknowledge the location as a heritage site. Ariel said during the meeting that “the Druze community is an inseparable part of Israeli society and in recent years has made a real effort to integrate its children into the public sector,” Israel Hayom reported.

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  • Ellen Lapidus Stern

    I once gave a well dressed soldier a lift in my car , somewhere in the Gallilee. I was surprised to learn that he was a Druze.

    • Ellen Lapidus Stern