Foreign anarchists and Palestinian Authority Arabs were caught on film Sunday setting fire to a wooded area outside the Jewish town of Bat Ayin, in the Etzion Bloc (Gush Etzion) between Jerusalem and Hevron. Bat Ayin is three minutes from Alon Shvut and the Har Etzion Hesder Yeshiva. . The fire damaged many plants, including olive trees.
Residents who witnessed the incident said they believe the group was planning to blame the arson attack on the Jews of Bat Ayin.
In the video approximately one dozen people can be seen wandering around the field, stopping occasionally to bend over and set new fires. The group does not appear anxious, and does nothing to extinguish the flames.
In response to the video showing Arabs and anarchists committing willful arson in wooded areas and olive groves near the community, where a young child was murdered by an Arab infiltrator last year, MK Yaakov Katz, ("Ketsale"), head of the National Union party, accused the police and ISA (Shabak) of unjustified blackening the name of Judea and Samaria's Jewish residents on this and other issues.
Jews living in Judea and Samaria have said for years that reports of Jews burning or cutting down Arab-owned olive trees are manufactured in order to create an olive harvest libel that earns sympathy for PA Arabs. In fact, they say, Jews are often the victims of Arab attacks during the harvest, while Arabs are given IDF protection.
This year, activists in Samaria have created a website encouraging Jews to document Arab assaults during the harvest.