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November 20, 2014 8:30 am

Haredi Israelis Escort Hero Druze Police Officer to Burial (VIDEO)

avatar by Anav Silverman / Tazpit News Agency

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Funeral of Zidan Saif. Photo: Amit Zayed, Tazpit News Agency.

Thousands of Israelis from across the country, including the Haredi community, came to pay their respects to Druze police officer Zidan Saif, 30, who fell in the line of duty during Tuesday’s brutal Palestinian attack on a Jerusalem synagogue.

Traffic police officer Saif was among the first responders to the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, when two Palestinian terrorists stormed into the morning-prayer services shooting and stabbing worshipers with meat cleavers, an axe and gun. Saif diverted the attention of the terrorists to himself, engaging them in a gun battle and stopping them from continuing with the bloody massacre. He was shot in the head and succumbed to his wounds at Hadassah hospital on Tuesday night, Nov. 19.

Har Nof Rabbi Yehuda Breitkopf, who heads a kollel (institute for Torah study) on the street where the brutal attack on the synagogue occurred, told Tazpit News Agency that Sayif was a heroic example for all people.

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“We have much to learn from the Druze community,” Breitkopf said. “The deep message that we can learn from this tragedy, is to act when someone’s life is in danger – exactly as Saif did.”

“Our mission as human beings is to take care of each other,” ,” Breitkopf added. “The Druze community knows how to do this. We are very thankful for Saif’s actions – he saved many Jewish lives and he defended our people.”

Saif, who left behind his wife and 4-month-year-old daughter, was buried in his hometown of Yahuh-Jat in the Galilee in the north. Eliran Illouz, an Israeli from Akko, told Tazpit News Agency that he traveled to the funeral to show his appreciation for the Druze community. He said, “I felt a need to come to the funeral because of his service to Israel, and the Druze community’s service to Israel.”

“I wanted to show my appreciation for the Druze people – the border policeman who fell in the terror attack at the Jerusalem light rail two weeks ago and the Druze who stood up for Israel in Abu Snan. It is important to show respect and honor to Saif and those before him,” Illouz told Tazpit.

“I would say Saif is a hero.”

Among the thousands who paid their final respects to Saif, including Haredi residents of Jerusalem’s Har Nof community, were Israel President Reuven Rivlin, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino.

The Druze community in Israel is officially recognized as a separate religious entity, whose culture and language is Arabic. They serve in the IDF and in the Israel Border Police and have reached high-level positions in the political, military and public domains.

Watch a video from Zidan Saif’s funeral below.

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  • Eric R.

    I also hope that something in Israel is named in memory of this young man.

  • Eric R.

    It was very important for the Haredim to express their support for this brave young Druze man this way. I am very glad they did it. I am glad that even in their very insular world, they understand and are grateful to “outsiders” who put their lives on the line for them.

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