On Wednesday (Nov. 25), the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, attended a reception at the home of Druze Sheikh Tarif Muefk for the Eid al-Adha holidays which began that day. "The Druze people are active in their enrollment in the IDF especially in combat units," remarked the Chief of the General Staff to the Sheikh's guests. "This shows the values and willingness to contribute to the State."
The percentage of Druze soldiers joining the IDF reached 83% vs. 72% of the Jewish population. This year, there was a particular increase of Druze serving in certain places such as military medicine: Six members of the Druze community were accepted to study medicine in an IDF program, and thus constitute 12% of the military doctors hired this year. "My vision for the IDF is to be an army that can fight and learn" added the Chief of the General Staff. "The IDF will continue to be a place that connects people from all communities, religions, immigrants, men and women."
Thousands of Druze soldiers currently serve in various IDF units, including the Pilots Training Course, the most elite course the IDF offers. So far members of the Druze community have been awarded 106 citations and awards for exemplary service.