Women plant in Netzer
Women plant in NetzerIsrael news photo: Shani Taragin

More than 250 Gush Etzion residents marched to a field on the Sabbath, prayed end enjoyed a “Kiddush” in the same place where Arabs uprooted tree last week. A Kiddush over wine and cakes or cookies is traditionally held before the morning Sabbath meal.

The nationalist Women in Green organization last week reported that the Arabs not only uprooted trees planted by Jews in the field at Netzer, located opposite the city of Efrat in Gush Etzion, but also appeared to have the full support of the United Nations. The international body’s workers were photographed at the field in a friendly meeting with the Palestinian Authority Arabs who had uprooted the trees.

Residents of the community of Elazar, located across the highway from Efrat about tem miles south of Jerusalem, and a short walk from Netzer, began the march after morning prayers.

Rabbi Chaim Iram, the rabbi of Elazar, and his family joined the march, which was possible under Jewish law because of an “eruv" that recently was erected, a halakhic means of allowing Jews to carry out of residential areas on the Sabbath.

“Arabs who were in the area were dumbfounded to see such an unexpected and large Jewish presence” at Netzer on the Sabbath, according to Women in Green, which is trying to ensure that the Civil Administration does not allow Arabs to take over that area of land.

The organization called on the public to protest to the Civil Administration about the beginning of construction of a stone house by Arabs. A building would give support to Arab claims to the land.

Women in Green vowed to continue a presence at Netzer on the following Sabbath, a day that Arabs often exploit to damage Jewish farms counting on the fact that Sabbath observers will not react.

There are no onsite pictures due to the Sabbath.