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Rioters snatch Druze religious leader's body from Israeli hospital after Covid-19 death Open in fullscreen

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Rioters snatch Druze religious leader's body from Israeli hospital after Covid-19 death

Sheikh Hassan Halabi's body was snatched from a hospital in northern Israel [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 October, 2020

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Druze religious leaders have distanced themselves from the rioters who snatched Sheikh Hassan Halabi's body from an Israeli hospital.

Thousands of mourners attended the funeral of a Druze religious leader in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights on Friday, after the deceased cleric's body was snatched from a hopital in northern Israel.

Sheikh Abu Zain Al-Din Hassan Halabi's funeral took place in the Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams, where mourners appeared to observe social distancing measures due to the area's high Covid-19 infection level.

Halabi had himself died of coronavirus on Friday.

Druze leaders have sought to distance themselves from the rioters who snatched the sheikh's body.

"The incident that occurred at the Ziv medical center in Tzfat is not linked to a decision by the leaders of the community or the family of the deceased," Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Muafak Tarif was quoted by the Kan public broadcaster as saying.

"The funeral took place in coordination with the police, the army home front command and the municipality of Majdal Shams," he added.

Israeli authorities on Saturday said a commission had been appointed to investigate the incident and offer recommendations for future mass religious gatherings.

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