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Confrontation in Netzer Downpour

An AFSI group visiting Netzer prevailed in a confrontation with a gang of local Arabs bent on stopping them from planting on State Lands
By A7 Staff
First Publish: 11/21/2011, 10:34 PM

Tweny AFSI members headed by Helen Freedman arrived in Netzer on Friday to tour plantings before continuing on to Hevron for Shabbat Haye Sarah.

The skies "opened up and rain began pouring down upon the group's arrival," according to Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover of Women in Green.

Almost at the same time a group of Arabs from neighboring villages arrived and attempted to prevent the Jews from planting – by pushing and shoving the Jews and even uprooting the trees that had just been planted.

After a few minutes, the Arabs brought reinforcements – some 12 Arabs working on a nearby field.

Katsover and Green commended the AFSI group saying they did not show fear nor shy away from the conflict. On the contrary, they said, the AFSI members "acted bravely, planted anyway, replanted the few saplings the Arabs had uprooted and defended the planted trees with their bodies till the IDF arrived."

The group reportedly explained to the soldiers who did arrive the land in question had clearly been declared to be State Lands by the Civil Administration - and that the Arabs had no right to approach that area.

The soldiers, Matar and Katsover happily reported, "did what they were supposed to do and took out the Arabs from that plot of land."

In recent months other confrontations at Netzer following a similar patter - often including Jewish activists being assaulted - have resulted in responding police officers arresting the Jews who called for their aid rather than their attackers.

"The pouring rain and the determination of the Jews to stand firm in front of the Arabs, created an atmosphere of happiness, joy and spiritual elevation," they added.

Before departing the group waved the Israeli flag and sang "Am Yisrael Chai" after having succeeded in planting tens of olive trees.

"Even though the Land of Israel was promised to us by G-d," they said. "It will be redeemed and in our hands only after a lot of hard work, determination, tenacity and steadfastness."

"In the end, thank G-d, the trees were planted and are waiting to grow fruit."