Residents of the Shomron town of Elon Moreh have accused extreme-left activists of deliberately damaging Arab property in order to create conflict. They also say Yediot Acharonot and its associated website Ynet have refused to correct their libel.
Benny Katzover, a senior founder of Elon Moreh, spoke with Arutz-7 and recounted the events leading up to what he says were attempts by left-wing activists to sully Jewish residents' good names and create conflict with the neighboring Arab village.
The village in question, Dir el-Hattab, was hooked up to the Israeli water utility thanks to Katzover's own initiative as mayor of Elon Moreh. Recently, Jewish youth who refurbished a park area within Elon Moreh's municipal boundaries set up a small pool, connected to the water line leading to the village. The pool did not disrupt the flow of water to the village until somebody began cutting the pipe flowing toward the village.
A resident of the town recently photographed leftists as they damaged a water pipe leading to a nearby Arab village. Elon Moreh residents argue that the leftists were hoping to lead the Arabs to think that their Jewish neighbors were destroying their water supply.
After destroying the pipe, residents said, the leftists reported the incident to the Yediot Acharonot newspaper, which published an article accusing the Jews of Elon Moreh of harassing local Arabs and stealing their water. "They were more than happy to publish a half-page story on how we abuse our neighbors, without an ounce of research," Katzover said. He added that the leftists were led by Kibbutz Movement Chairman Yoel Marshak, infamous for his involvement in claims that Arab olive trees were destroyed by Jews, when in fact they had been pruned by their owners and left-wing activists.
An Arab man quoted in the article was not even from the village of Dir el-Hattab to which the water in the pipe flows, one resident of Elon Moreh explained, but rather from the hostile village Kfar Salam.
Yediot Acharonot ignored complaints from Elon Moreh, he said, and did not change the article even after receiving photographs of the leftists damaging the pipe.