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Israel appoints Druze as army commander in West Bank

August 15, 2018 at 4:50 am

Israeli occupation forces aim at Palestinian protesters in Hizma, West Bank [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]

The Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Gadi Eisenkot, has appointed the Druze officer Ghassan Alian as the commander of the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s Channel 2 reported yesterday.

The decision is conditional upon approval by the Israeli defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

Alian, 45, is a senior officer in IDF’s ground forces, who formerly held the position of the IDF’s Givati Brigade, an infantry brigade that serves as its amphibious force.

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The Druze officer also commanded the Israeli army’s ground battle that took place in the east of the besieged Gaza Strip at beginning the 2014 war, where he was injured and was transferred to hospital.

Observers believe that Alian’s appointment in that position was “not coincidental,” but said it came in an attempt to calm down the Druze community, which has been engaged in a wave of protests against the Israeli law of nationalism. The Israeli law of nationalisim was reported to be ignoring the Israeli Druze minority and to be treating them as a group that have not served the Israeli state.