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Druze villages in Israel

June 11, 2020

Israel is a country with many minorities and ethnic groups. One very interesting and prominent group are the Druze.
A branch off Islam, the Druze today are recognized as a separate and independent religious ethnic Arab group. They are settled in several villages, mainly in the north of the country, and are renowned for their hospitality and excellent cuisine.

Man in in traditional Druze clothing

Man in in traditional Druze clothing

A monotheistic religion, their major prophet is biblical Jethro, a Midianite priest and father-in-law to Moses, and his tomb in Israel near Tiberias is their holiest site.
The Druze have adopted the State of Israel as their country, establishing a Druze battalion as part of the IDF, which has, however been disbanded, as the Druze soldiers are now integrated into all of the various IDF corps, serving in elite combat units, and even as fighter pilots.
A peace-loving religion, in which men and women are equals, they are a dignified and cultured people, and are happy to share their heritage and history with others. They pledge loyalty to their host country, and are therefore dedicated to the State of Israel,
The Druze villages are situated mainly in the north of the country, stretching from the Haifa and Mt. Carmel region to the far Upper Galilee. Many of the villages have restaurants that sell traditional Druze cuisine, and markets that sell colorful wares and spices.
They traditionally produce olive oil and labane (a sour white cheese) which are served on special flat breads known as pita, and throughout the Galilee, as well as in all open air markets, one can find booths selling these wares to visitors and picnickers.

Making the famous Druze pita - Israel

Making the famous Druze pita – Israel

The Druze villages of Daliat–el –Carmel and Ussfia, are situated on Mt. Carmel, very near to Horn of Carmel, where according to the bible, Elijah the prophet vanquished the false prophets of Baal, and where today there is a Carmelite monastery. A visit to the open air market and main street shops is well worthwhile.
In the Upper Galilee the Druze villages include Yarka, which dates back to the pre-Christian era, as does Hurfesh, which during the Crusader period, belonged to the Teutonic Knights. Other villages include Rameh, Jat, Julis and more – all in the Upper Eat and West Galilee regions.
There are also several Druze villages on the Golan Heights, which were under Syrian rule before the Six Day War. True to their loyal nature and beliefs, the residents of these village still align with Syria, retaining status of permanent resident rather than citizenship, to Israel and so, unlike the Israeli Druze, they do not serve in the army.

Druze market in Israel

Druze market in Israel

We recommend that on your coming visit, you take part in a home experience with a Druze family, where you will enjoy a traditional meal and learn of the Druze religion and heritage.
Enriching and unforgettable.

Join our tours for a once in a lifetime experience!