Jerusalem, Israel -
The Israeli Defense Forces, IDF, Southern Command recently honored several Bedouin Soldiers in a ceremony recognizing their commitment, and proud military service.
In all, 11 soldiers including Lt. Ibrahim Alhuashalah were awarded a certificate of achievement by the Army Chief of Staff in a ceremony also attended by Mr. Amer Abu Muammar, Mayor of Segev Shalom who said, "We are all Israelis, but our integration, the melting pot, is what distinguishes us."
While most Israeli's are required to serve a period in the IDF or other military service, Bedouins are not required to, and often earn respect from the general Israeli population when they do. Since 2010 there has been a marked increase in the number of Bedouin who enlist in the IDF.
Most Bedouin soldiers serve in tracking units along the border with the Gaza Strip or in Bedouin Reconaissance Brigade, as they are sometimes called.
Bedouin's in Israel's souther Negev desert hold Israeli citizenship. Commander of the Southern Command Maj. Gen. Tal Russo also described fallen Bedouin soldiers by saying they "symbolize a sense of mission, responsibility, and self-sacrifice."
List of award recipients:
Red Division: Maj. Haled Suaed, 1st Sgt. Afif Suaed, Sgt. 1st Class Nasser Jabrin
Desert Foxes Division: Sgt. 1st Class Ayid Alhatrashah, Sgt. 1st Class, Sgt. 1st Class Abu Marei, Sgt. Ahmed Alatrash
Desert Reconnaissance Battalion: Staff Sgt. Rabiah Muhammed, Sgt. Salim Alabid, Cpl. Omri Alatounah