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Bedouin honor IDF service, mourn fallen soldiers

Bedouin youths continue to demonstrate their commitment to Israel by enlisting, despite growing tensions with Jewish society as the demolition of Bedouin homes continues.
Bedouin Arab Israeli Defense Force soldiers take part in a tracking drill near Tze'elim in southern Israel June 9, 2014. In addition to hi-tech surveillance and intelligence capabilities, Israel relies on the Bedouin volunteers to secure its border regions against "terrorists, illegal immigrants and smugglers," according to the IDF spokesperson. Traditionally nomadic desert people, the Bedouin, who are Muslim, have passed down tracking skills across generations. Picture taken June 9, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O
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Amid the many April 22 Memorial Day ceremonies for Israel's fallen soldiers, there was one unofficial and unusual event in Ka'abiyye, a Bedouin village in the north of Israel. The initiative to hold a memorial procession there came from Muhammed Ka'abiyye, a resident who thinks that the fallen Bedouins who have proven their loyalty and love to Israel — their state — deserve a special memorial service as well.

Every year, a memorial service for the fallen Bedouins is held at a monument for a Bedouin fighter, located at HaMovil junction in the lower Galilee region. Yet, Ka'abiyye says that the young members of the community who enlisted with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as well as bereaved families feel that the State of Israel does too little to commemorate the contribution of the Bedouins who fell during Israel's wars.

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