Jewish farmer (illustrative)
Jewish farmer (illustrative)Israel news photo: Flash 90

Jewish farmers in the Shilo bloc are facing a campaign of “unending harassment” by local Arabs who uprooted 3,000 grapevines Sunday night in a field belonging to Meshek Achya.

The vandals destroyed eight dunam (two acres) of vines in the vineyards, officials said, although the true extent of the damage did not become evident until the destruction was spotted on Monday morning.

The Arabs are intent on uprooting the Jewish community as well, pointed out Binyamin Regional Council chairman Avi Ro’eh in a statement Monday calling on security services to protect local Jewish residents and agriculture.

“Unfortunately the uprooting of the vineyard is part of ongoing harassment by Arabs in the region which is directed at residents and agriculture,” Ro’eh said. 

“We expect the army to protect the people and agriculture, and to lead to order and security in the region. It is unthinkable that such an action could pass without any response from police and security forces,” the Council chairman emphasized.

Just one day earlier, Arabs hurled rocks at vehicles bearing Israeli license plates traveling along the Trans-Binyamin Highway as they passed the village of Deir Abu-Masha’al, the Tazpit news agency reported.

At least five vehicles were significantly damaged in the road terror attacks. One of the five was a vehicle belonging to a resident of the Jewish community of Neve Tzuf, and was particularly seriously damaged.

Last month clashes broke out next to the Binyamin area community of Esh Kodesh, also in the Shilo bloc, when Arabs began harvesting land that Jews had been farming for years.

The Jewish residents attempted to stop the Arab seizure, and one Jew was attacked by an Arab with an axe. Israeli Border Police officers arrived on the scene and also attacked the Jews with clubs and tear gas, local residents said.