JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister has apologized to his country’s ambassador to Panama, a member of Israel’s Arabic-speaking Druze minority, after he and his family were given extra security screening before departing from Tel Aviv’s airport.
Sunday’s statement from Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he told Reda Mansour that the Druze community is “close to our heart,” and that he will work to “strengthen our brotherly bond.”
Reda wrote about the extra screening on Facebook Saturday.
Israel is home to approximately 140,000 Druze, a secretive sect that splintered off Shiite Islam in the Middle Ages. They are drafted into the military and many are fiercely loyal to the state.
But its members have felt alienated since Netanyahu’s government passed a controversial “Nation-State” law in 2018 that emphasized Israel’s Jewish character.