Confrontation in Gush Etzion
Just south of Jerusalem, a battle of wills between Jews and Arabs is underway for control of state-owned lands. The latest clash took place in Netzer, Gush Etzion - and the Jews won.
Of late, Women in Green and residents of Gush Etzion have concentrated their efforts on the lands between Alon Shvut and Elazar, just a few kilometers south of Jerusalem. The Women in Green organization has held several events there, against efforts by local Arabs who are "taking over hundreds of dunams [quarter-acres] of land in order to prevent Jewish contiguity between Elazar, Alon Shvut and Efrat. They plant fruit trees and build terraces there, even though this is not privately-owned Arab land but rather State-owned lands."
This past Friday, Jewish activists set out to plow two plots of land in Netzer, adjacent to a spot where Arabs set fire a week ago to a water pipe that supplies water to hundreds of recently-planted Jewish trees.
But several Arabs then arrived on the scene and renewed their aggression, trying to uproot the newly-planted seedlings. Both sides called the police, and justice was finally served when Civil Administration officials arrived, examined the maps, and announced that the area was indeed State-owned and not, as the Arabs had claimed, Arab land.