Druze-Israeli Kickboxer Wraps Herself in Druze, Israeli Flags As She Advances in Championship
Monia Heno, a Druze-Israeli from the northern village of Junis, has advanced to the semi-finals of the World Kickboxing Championship. She is already a reigning champion, having won the European Junior Championship in 2021 and the European Senior Championship in 2022.
But Heno, 20, says this time is different: “This competition has a different meaning for all of us,” she said, a month and a half into Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. “I wanted to bring honor to the country and demonstrate to the world that we remain strong despite it all, each of us in our own area.”
After defeating her opponent, a contender from Italy, Heno wrapped herself in two flags: the Israeli and the Druze. She invoked the memory of Druze soldiers in the IDF who have been killed in combat following Hamas’s October 7 attack in Israel’s south.
“It was important for me to raise the Druze flag,” she said, “in memory of the sons of our community who have fallen in the war. We will remember them,” Heno vowed, “and the rest of our fallen, forever.”
Several Druze-Israelis have been killed in combat for Israel since the October 7 attack. First Lieutenant Jamal Abbas, 23, hailed from the tight-knit community of Peki’in in the Upper Galilee. Lt.-Col. Salman Habaka, 33, came from Yanuh-Jat and was killed in battle in Gaza earlier this month. Staff-Sgt. Adi Malik Harb, 19, who fell in battle in October, came from the Druze village of Beit Jann, which has the highest percentage of fallen soldiers of any community in Israel. According to Israeli media, 64 soldiers from the Druze town have fallen in battle. (JPost / VFI News)
“Lord, we ask that You comfort the families of the Druze soldiers who have been killed during the war with Hamas. We offer our sincerest condolences to them and we pray that they find solace in Your loving embrace. We also pray for a permanent ceasefire and justice for the many victims of the Hamas terrorist organization. May You mediate their immediate arrest and the elimination of their group as a whole.”
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