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Druse Spiritual Leader is Dead

The spiritual leader of the Druse community in Israel, one of the most influential religious leaders in the Middle East, died over the weekend in the Galilee village of Julis.

Sheik Amin Tarif, 95, had ruled the Druse community in Israel for the past 57 years. He was widely respected also in Syria and Lebanon, where most Druse in the region live.

In a noteworthy gesture, the Israeli government gave Druse from Syria and Lebanon permission to attend the funeral, which was scheduled to take place Monday.