News reports are flying about airstrikes by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) inside Syria, the most serious response by Israel to cross-border violence in the past several years. The IDF response came after an Israeli teenager was killed by an anti-tank missile from Syria over the weekend. What few media outlets are reporting, however, is that the teenager whose death sparked the operation is an Arab–and Muslim–citizen of Israel.
Mohammed Qaraqra was 14 years old (or 13, in some reports). His father is a civilian contractor for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The international media routinely ignore the fact that roughly twenty percent of Israeli citizens are Arab, that the majority of those Arab citizens are Muslims, and that a small, significant number volunteer to serve in the IDF and defend Israel against its enemies (among other forms of public service).
The IDF itself has downplayed the ethnic and religious identity of the victim of the attack, wishing to stress instead the fact of his Israeli citizenship: “The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to breach Israel’s sovereignty and will act in order to safeguard the civilians of the State of Israel,” it said in a statement on its official blog. The IDF regards the attack as deliberate and intentional, and not a result of misdirected fire within Syria.
The town in which Qaraqra lived is almost entirely Muslim, and the Qaraqra family is one of the principal clans. A source indicated to Breitbart News that Mohammed was buried in a Muslim cemetery. Mohammed is the latest, but hardly the first, Muslim Arab citizen of Israel to be killed in foreign or terror attacks on the Jewish state. He was accompanying his father on his first day of summer vacation, according to the Jerusalem Post.