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      Shomron Residents Catch Arabs Cutting Down Olive Trees

      Shomron volunteers caught Arabs and a foreign leftist activist on video as they were cutting down trunks of olive trees.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 10/16/2012, 4:44 AM

      Volunteers from the Shomron Residents Council on Monday filmed Arabs and a foreign leftist activist cutting down trunks of olive trees and branches next to the community of Elon Moreh, to create a provocation.

      The incident occurred just one day after the Shomron Residents Council and the Shomron Regional Council came out with a request to local residents to put cameras in their vehicles in order to document provocations by Arabs and extreme leftist activists during the olive harvest season.

      Video courtesy of the Shomron Residents Council

      Due to the increase, during previous years, in provocations organized by extremist leftists from Israel and from abroad, as well as by Arabs from the area, in preparation for the olive harvest the Shomron Residents Council, together with the Shomron Regional Council, organized a photography course for the residents and Council volunteers.

      The Arabs and the leftist extremist who were caught on video were sawing through the trunks and branches and leaving them near the cut off trunks in an area near the Elon Moreh’s homes, as well as in another location near the entrance to the community.

      Council volunteers photographed them in the act and called the police.

      The Chairman of the Shomron Residents Council, Benny Katzover, said, “Just yesterday we called on the public to equip themselves with cameras in order to document provocations, and already today a provocation was filmed, the act of uprooting olive trees in real time. It's clear to everyone that if the alert volunteers had not recorded the provocation in real time, the whole world would have shouted and condemned the settlers and the State of Israel.”

      In the wake of the incident, the head of the Shomron Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, called to act aggressively against the ones staging the uprooting of the olive trees and to distance the provocateurs from the extreme left from the area during the olive harvest season.

      “The olive harvest season in recent years has turned into the provocateur's season,” said Mesika. “In light of the extreme left's provocations during the olive harvest in past years, the settlement enterprise has invested much effort, in coordination with the IDF, to prevent extreme leftist organizations and the Palestinian Authority from taking advantage of the season to cause provocations and take other actions.

      “I call on the security services to be alert, to understand that these are sequences of events whereby most of them take place when activists from the extreme left, both from Israel and from abroad, are in the area,” he said. “I call on the security services to distance from the area the extreme leftists planning these provocations and thus prevent these incidents from happening and to allow the harvest season to finish quietly.”

      Last year, Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria complained that foreign and Israeli anarchists were taking advantage of the olive harvest to help terrorists gather intelligence.

      The two terrorists who murdered five members of the Fogel family in March of 2011 had used the olive harvest as an excuse to gather information on Itamar, the victims’ town, and to plan the gruesome murders.