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Video: Residents React to Arab Harvesters in Itamar

Itamar residents expressed outrage after Arabs were allowed into the still bleeding community to harvest olives. "It's total insensitivity."
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/11/2011, 4:53 PM

Tamar Fogel October 9, 2011
Tamar Fogel October 9, 2011
Samaria Residents Council

The reactions to Sunday’s shocking incident, in which residents of the community of Itamar encountered Arabs harvesting olives inside their security zone, with subsequent violence and threats, are brought to you on a Shomron Residents' Council video by Arutz Sheva.

We feel that a voice must be given to this macabre incident.

The Arabs were actually from the nearby village of Awarta, the same village from which came the two terrorists who brutally massacred five members of the Fogel family just seven months ago. And the murderers of the Shabo family in Alon Moreh. They expressed pride in what they had done rather than remorse, no one heard regrets or apologies from Awarta. The two murderers of the Fogels were sentened to five life terms each.

Awarta’s residents were allowed in by the Israeli Civil Administration in order to harvest olives. The “harvesters” threw rocks at Itamar residents, yelling “We will turn you into Fogels” and running their fingers along their necks to simulate what they would like to do.

“A friend went for a morning walk and saw that Arabs entered an olive grove in the community near the greenhouses, which is only a few meters from the homes of the residents,” Sara Kurlak, a local resident, said. “We weren’t informed at all. We organized ourselves using text messages and went down there, only a few dozen of us.”

12 year old Tamar Fogel, now the eldest in her family, joined them.

Gershon Mesika, the head of the Shomron Regional Council, was enraged at the incident, calling the Civil Administration’s actions “total insensitivity.”

“To bring in Arabs from the Awad family six months after the murder in Itamar to harvest olives in the community is first-rate irresponsibility,” Mesika said. “I want to remind that only a year ago, the murderer Hakim Awad was among the olive harvesters and collected information that later assisted him in carrying out the terror attack. The olive harvest was done without coordinating with me, without coordinating with anyone.”

Rav Natan Chai, the rabbi of the community of Itamar, also condemned the incident and said that the Civil Administration’s allowing this to occur “looks more like operational assistance by Peace Now.”

“They forcefully push these Arabs to enter Itamar, just to show that everything is going on as usual and they can continue to do whatever they want, while our hands are tied,” Rav Chai said.

“It is inconceivable that after such a heinous murder, after other murders which resulted in 22 Itamar residents being dead, and less than a year after the Fogel family, the residents of the village who never expressed remorse or apologized for the heinous murder will enter the community and harvest olives,” Kurlak said.