Hundreds of Druze in Israel Mourn Death of Syrian President

Published June 11th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Hundreds of Druze residents from villages in Lake Tiberius and the Golan Heights took to the streets Saturday night, mourning the death of Syrian President Hafez Assad, reported Haaretz Sunday. 

The daily said that Druze leaders scheduled a special meeting on the Golan Heights Sunday to commemorate Assad. 

When news of Assad's death became public, hundreds of residents of Masadeh, Majdal Shams and other Druze villages flocked to the main square at Majdal Shams. Village stores were closed; black mourning flags and Syrian flags, along with poster photographs of the late Syrian president, draped the streets, the daily added. 

Participants in mourning demonstrations cried out, "Syria, what's happened to you? You've lost your most precious asset." 

"When I heard that Assad had died, I couldn't stand on my feet," said Sabra Fadlon from Masadeh, as he marched slowly toward the Majdal Shams' Square. "For us, he was held more dearly than anything. We waited, and yearned to see him on our land; now we're hoping to see his son Bashar return here," he was quoted as saying. 

"You were the pride of the Arab people," chanted Hassan Fahar a-Din. "We'll wait on the Golan Heights until the pride of the Syrian people is restored and the Golan is returned to Syrian sovereignty. The entire people weep at your passing," he told the daily – Albawaba.com 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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