One person remains critically injured and 8 others badly wounded after a brawl between Druse and Muslims in the village of Abu Snan Friday night spun out of control. Medical personnel said dozens of the wounded were suffering from shrapnel wounds and lacerations, leading to suspicion that a fragmentation grenade was thrown during the brawl.

The Coastal District police first reported the melee shortly after midnight Friday, saying that they had received a call about at least ten wounded in a local brawl in Abu Snan and had sent reinforcements of YASSAM special patrol officers to the area. Shortly thereafter they stated that 42 wounded had been taken to the Galilee hospital in Nahariya, including 26 listed in moderate to serious condition, most suffering from shrapnel wounds and lacerations to their upper bodies.

Dr. Masad Barhoum, Director of the Medical Center of the Galilee, said his personnel first heard of the brawl at midnight and after hearing from first responders about the number of wounded they began preparing for a mass casualties incident, bringing in extra staff to work the trauma unit. Barhoum said the majority of the badly wounded patients were suffering from shrapnel wounds and lacerations, while most of the lightly hurt were treated for abrasions.

On Friday night reinforcements from across the district streamed into the town for hours, and at one point police dispatched a helicopter to the skies overhead. Police said later that the reinforcements would remain in the village in the coming days and that district commandeers had begun meeting with local leaders in an attempt to keep the peace.

By morning police said that quiet had returned to the village. They referred to the incident as “a grave occurrence in which many civilians who live together as neighbors were harmed” and called on both Druse and Muslim residents of the town to act responsibly and work to prevent further fighting.

On Sunday classes will be cancelled in local Abu Snan schools, as per a recommendation made by district police. Various reports in the Israeli media said the brawl was sparked by a fight in a local school, after Muslim highs school students showed up to class in kaffiyehs and began protesting about the security situation in Israel. The protest reportedly sparked arguments with Druse students, eventually escalating into Friday night’s brawl, according to the reports.

Ibrahim, a spokesman for local council head Nuhad Mishlav, said Saturday that the brawl had nothing to do with tensions between Druse and Muslims and that relations between the communities are sound. Ibrahim said that the background to the brawl was a fight earlier in the week between a Druse and Muslim local man and also because of insults traded between Druse and Muslim youth on Facebook in recent days.

He added that the incident with the students in kaffiyehs was unrelated to the brawl.

Police are nonetheless examining whether or not the clash was linked to tension between the two communities, in particular recent violence between Arabs and the police and army in Israel such as the killing last Friday night of a Kafr Kana man by police. The Druse are heavily represented in the state security services and law enforcement, in particular the Border Police.

Abu Snan is home to 13,045 residents, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. The population is primarily Muslim but the town is also home to thousands of Druse and has a community of Christian Arabs.