Druze seek citizenship of Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 12, 2012

The ongoing uprising in Syria is having profound effects on the Druze community living on both sides of the Israel-Syria border.

As the Assad government is rapidly losing control and chaos descends on the country, many Druze citizens living in the Golan Heights have requested Israeli citizenship.

Around 800,000 Druze are estimated to live in Syria, there are 100,000 within the Green Line and another 20,000 living in the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in 1967.

Israel extended its sovereignty to the Golan in 1981 and offered the Druze civilians living there citizenship. But while there is very little overt resistance to Israel in the Golan, the majority of the Druze community declared loyalty to Syria and only about 700 of them had accepted citizenship by 2010.

Following the bloody suppression of the uprising in Syria, many Golan Druze, especially the younger generation, are considering becoming Israeli.

Several Golan residents recently explained to Maariv that they were disillusioned with the Assad regime.

Last updated: 9:45am, October 12 2012