The phenomenon of Arabs one-sidedly claiming Jewish lands is nothing new, but it seems to have reached new heights in Efrat.
Noam Wassel, a resident of Efrat, has been seeing this occur with his own eyes, step by step, during the last few days.
Wassel described during an interview with Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew website how he sees almost every morning Arabs arriving at the Efrat North Junction in an attempt to establish facts on the ground and claim the land. The fact that there has never been Arab agriculture in the area and the fact that an IDF post is situated close by does not bother them, he said.
Wassel described how last Friday, he traveled from his home towards Jerusalem, and during the ride he noticed young Palestinian Authority farmers working the land. This incident occurred after they were previously removed from the area by the soldiers who are stationed nearby to prevent stones and Molotov cocktails from being thrown by terrorists in nearby villages at Jewish vehicles traveling along the road.
He added that during the first incident, before the Arabs were turned away by the soldiers, he saw one of them waving a dry grapevine as proof that the land is his. “That was a delusional excuse,” said Wassel. “No one has ever been on that land.”
Despite this, the Arabs returned last Friday. Wassel noted that the area in question is located right by the IDF station but that the soldiers did not notice at all what was going on.
“I shouted out to the soldiers and told them that what was going on was dangerous,” said Wassel. “After all, they can plant a mine or an explosive device when they are so close to the IDF post. The soldiers said they would send someone to check it out, and one of them indeed went to check what was going on. When he saw the Arabs he pushed them away.”
Wassel said that both times he approached the local security force in Efrat, who wrote down his complaint and transferred it to the District Coordination Office, but told him that it is important to have a large number of complaints so that the District Coordination Office will work to prevent this phenomenon.
The story, however, did not end there: on Monday morning as he was on his way to work, Wassel noticed that about twenty meters from the IDF station, Arabs had fenced off the land so they can work it. He said that that the Arabs must have arrived overnight without the soldiers having noticed them.
In this case as well, Wassel turned to the security center and received a similar response: that more complaints are needed.
“These incidents are an indication of the weakness of the State Comptroller who does not investigate the takeover by the Arabs of the land here,” said Wassel.
Arabs use different tactics to take over lands which are not theirs. In Jerusalem recently, Arabs added dozens of new tombstones to an ancient cemetery, even though no one is buried beneath them. Authorities removed the fake graves following an exclusive Arutz Sheva report on the issue.
Arabs taking advantage of Shabbat to establish facts on the ground and claim land that is not theirs in southern Judea is also a common occurrence.