February 22, 2024

Druze-Israeli Monia Heno advances in World Kickboxing Championship. Already a reigning champion, she has won the European Junior Championship in 2021 and the European Senior Championship in 2022. But this time, amid Israel’s war with Hamas, Heno wanted to bring honor to the country and demonstrate strength. After defeating an opponent from Italy, Heno wrapped herself in Israeli and Druze flags, honoring fallen Druze soldiers. Several Druze-Israelis have been killed in combat for Israel since the October 7 attack. First Lieutenant Jamal Abbas, Lt.-Col. Salman Habaka, and Staff-Sgt. Adi Malik Harb are among the fallen soldiers from the community. Israel’s Druze community numbers around 140,000, and men from the minority group are required to serve in the IDF. Efforts have been made to amend the controversial ‘Nation-State Law’ to affirm Druze Israelis’ status as full citizens. Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced a plan to introduce a separate law anchoring Druze Israelis’ status, which received mixed responses.