The following is from www.groundreport.com and is only one of many articles online that document the violence in Pekiin, Israel.
The Pogrom of Peki'in, Israel
The Druze community of Israel consists of 120,000 members and resides mainly in the Carmel, Galilee and Golan Heights. Since 1957 the Druze have been drafted to the IDF. Until today over 300 have been killed in active duty. It is therefore no wonder that PM Ehud Olmert announced that the recent events in the village of Peki’in were none other than crime related and not of national magnitude. No police officer or government official wants to think that the Druze-Israeli relations are dwindling. In fact if one’s knowledge of the recent events of Peki’in is based solely on Police and media reports, then he has a very faded and naive version of the circumstances.
What are Jews doing in a Druze village you ask?
Until these recent events, Ancient Peki’in housed seven Jewish families who arrived in recent years in support of Margalit Zinaty, the last living member of the Zinaty family who has resided in Peki’in for the last 2000 years. Let it be understood that the village of Peki’in is not just a case of Jewish people trying to settle in an Arab village, but a right to a claim of two thousand years of Jewish settlement and rich history tracing back as far as the Second Temple. One of the most prominent places visited by tourists of Peki’in is the ancient Jewish synagogue, under the responsibility of Miss Zinaty herself. Peki’in's greatest claim to fame however is the Cave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, located mere footsteps away from the edge of the village.
Not even five years ago, the Zigelman family moved to Peki’in, and soon to follow were the other six families. Although the Jewish-Druze relationship in Peki’in was fairly calm and decent, the Jews of Peki’in were still not surprised by the recent events that unfolded. The tranquil Jewish-Druze relationship has in the last two years become passé amongst the Druze youth of the village. Just one month ago in Peki’in, a Druze teenager deliberately drove his ATV buggy at high speeds towards a group of Jewish teenagers in attempt to run them over. This is only one example of the many recent Jewish-Druze teenage confrontations.
On Saturday evening, October 13, 2007, the night of Id-El-Fitar, symbolizing the end of the Islamic Ramadan, a car belonging to the Zigelman family was set ablaze. Although a report was filed with the police, the media spoke not a word of the incident.
The following Sunday, October 21st, a hand grenade was thrown into a Jewish home. Luckily none were wounded.
The atmosphere in Peki’in became tense. Rumors of incitement against the Jews of the village began to stir.
Three days later, Wednesday October 24th, the Druze youth of Peki’in raided New Peki’in, a close by Jewish settlement, in attempt to vandalize and remove a Jewish owned cellular antenna. They returned to Old Peki’in in an uproar of howls and chants, in announcement of their success and victory.
The Jews of Peki’in instantly new that they were the next targets. They were right. Around midnight, another hand grenade was thrown into the home of the Zalicha family. Yinon, the father of the Zalicha household reports that the grenade exploded on the roof collapsing part of the ceiling just inches from where he was standing. Even this still did not interest the media.
The following Saturday, October 27th, a group of Druze teenagers returned to the home of the owner of the cellular antenna, under repair from their previous riots, slaughtered all his chickens and torched his chicken coop. They then continued on to torch a security vehicle, vandalize several Police vehicles, and steal their valuable communication equipment.
At 2:00AM yet another grenade was thrown at neighbors of the Zalicha family, exploding their household propane tanks. Miraculously none were wounded.
Nearing the break of dawn, after several policemen were injured, the Druze head of the City Counsel announced over the village speaker system, “Kol Hakavod! You are our pride!”
The next Monday, October 29th, a Police car patrolling the area was stoned. The Police began to organize themselves for entry into Peki’in. Upon realization that the Druze planned to ambush them upon entry, the Police told the Jewish families that they could not respond to their calls for help.
At 2:30AM that same evening, another hand grenade was thrown into the Zigelman household. Yet again, miraculously none were injured. In response to the continued Druze rioting and extreme violence, smashing windows of Jewish cars and homes, the Police finally decided to enter the village. In the intense shootout between the Police and the Druze, a female Police officer was taken hostage. The Druze freed her only in exchange for their arrested accomplices.
After the Police left the village at 6:15AM, the Druze stormed Jewish cars yet again. The Zigelman family managed to escape in a friend’s car that they had coincidently borrowed that day. Not even fifteen minutes later, the Druze ransacked their home and set it ablaze, torching all that the Zigelman’s possessed.
As you can see, the reality of the frightening events that unfolded in Peki’in on the dates of October 13th through October 29th, and the reports and claims of the Police Department and Government are two very different things.
The unfortunate Jewish families of Peki’in are in a desperate situation. They currently cannot return to their homes, or what’s left of them for that matter. Most have lost valuable possessions and in the case of the Zigelman’s, all their possessions.
For donations to help ease the pain of the families of Peki’in, please call Merav at 0528109176 or E-mail email@example.com or Upper-Galilee Heritage fund at P.O.B. 350, Ma'a lot 24952, Israel.