Tensions were high in Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) on Monday, one of the first days of the annual olive harvest by both Jews and Palestinian Authority Arabs. Jews expressed concern that PA Arabs, who complain that their movement was limited in orchards near Jewish communities, would take advantage of the harvest to launch attacks.
In Givat HaRoeh, near the town of Eli, Jews expressed fear that the presence of many young Arab men in the nearby orchards would mean attacks on Jewish civilians. Arabs previously have claimed to be agricultural workers in order to gain access to lands near the town ini order to launch attacks, local Jews explained.
This year, Arabs from nearby villages have been permitted to access previously untended lands next to Givat HaRoeh, said local residents, who were among targets of multiple attacks that wounded two Jews.
"Twice already there have been terrorist attacks in that exact place, under the guise of 'agricultural activity,'” residents said. “One, was an attempt to stab a security guard on patrol and the other was a shooting. There have also been attacks on [Jewish] property there – pipes have been destroyed and trees have been uprooted.”
In the Binyamin district, police and military forces demolished the Jewish community of Ramat Migron on Monday morning, a step that residents said was aimed at easing movement for Arab olive harvesters. Residents accused security forces of damaging their belongings during the forced eviction.