Israeli soldiers patrol on the West Bank village of Arura in June 2014. Mohamad Torokman / Reuters
KISSUFIM CROSSING, Israel — The Star of David is the best-known symbol of Jewish identity and of patriotism for the state of Israel.
So it may come as a surprise that a six-pointed star hangs around the neck of Sgt. Yossef Saluta, a Muslim Arab.
The 20-year-old poses proudly wearing the necklace and his Israeli army uniform, a rifle slung over his shoulder. He is among a tiny but growing number of Arab Israelis to defy tradition — and often their communities — to serve in the Israeli military.
"There is more openness among Arab Muslims that are not Bedouins to volunteer and join the army," according to Col. Wagdi Sarhan, the head of the minorities unit in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). "We're talking about recruitment of dozens of Arab Muslim youth and we are hopeful that the numbers will grow."
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WNU Editor: A few dozen joining the Israeli Army is not a significant trend.