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PA Arabs Burn Jewish Crops in Samaria

Jewish activist seeks evidence of damage to Arab crops, finds aftermath of Arab attacks on Jewish fields.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 8/23/2010, 7:32 PM / Last Update: 8/23/2010, 8:47 PM

Yisrael Medad

A Jewish activist from Samaria who looked for evidence of an alleged Jewish attack on Arab trees discovered evidence of repeated Arab arson targeting Jewish crops instead.

The activist, Shilo resident Yisrael Medad, searched last week for evidence to support an Arab News report accusing residents of the Israeli town of Shvut Rachel in Samaria of uprooting 250 Arab-owned olive trees. Medad was surprised to see the report, having heard nothing of the matter despite the fact that the alleged incident supposedly happened not far from his home.

He was unable to find any evidence that such vandalism had occurred, and a local security officer confirmed that no Arabs had come forward to complain regarding uprooted trees.

Residents of Hevron were unable to find evidence of an alleged attack in their city reported in the same Arab News story. The reporter, Mohammed Mari, accused Jews in Tel Rumeida of hitting an Arab child - an accusation not supported by security camera evidence.

Medad was skeptical of the report from the beginning, noting in his blog that “The number 250 sounds incredible... It's tough to uproot an olive tree.” 

A short time later, Medad toured in the Samaria Jewish town of Achiya, next to Shvut Rachel. There, he saw large swathes of burnt land in a nearby valley – the remains of Jewish orchards that had been burnt to the ground by Palestinian Authority Arab attackers.

This time Medad found ample evidence. He took pictures to document the crime, which had gone unreported in both Israeli and foreign media.