Druze commander to light IDF torch for 'Independence Day'
Col. Hisham Ibrahim, who is the commander of the 460th Armoured Brigade at the Shizafon training base in the Negev, was nominated by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and approved by Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, the Israeli military announced on Saturday.
"Maj.-Gen.Ibrahim, the Commander of the Armored School, a member of the Druze community, illustrates, through his personal story and command positions throughout the years, a symbol of connecting different groups and sectors serving in the IDF," Kochavi said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
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He described the Druze colonel as an "outstanding officer and example of the IDF, which provides equal opportunity to all troops" and that he "focuses on volunteering in disadvantaged populations and in connecting with Israeli society and the IDF".
Ibrahim has allegedly worked to bridge a connection between the Israeli military and his native Druze population for several years, assisting in the recruitment of citizens to strengthen the "Beit Gil project", Israeli media said.
"His diverse social work brings to life his extraordinary personality as an officer, as an Israeli and as a person. His voluntary spirit, carried proudly on his shoulders, strengthens the spiritual armor of the people of Israel," the military added.
Palestinians mark the occasion with a march every year that is organised on Israel's Independence Day - each time at a different Palestinian village demolished in 1948 - although the official Nakba Day is on 15 May.
Some 23,000 Druze still live in the part of the Golan Heights Israel seized from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed in a move not recognised by most of the international community.
The majority still consider themselves Syrian.
Israel's so-called Independence Day torch lighting ceremony will this year be held without the presence of spectators due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the country.