Olive tree damaged by Samaria Arabs
Olive tree damaged by Samaria ArabsIsrael news photo: Samaria Residents' Council

Palestinian Authority Arabs have accused Jews from Bat Ayin of carrying out a price tag attack last week on an old Arab farmer’s vineyard and olive grove.

The accusation came in a report published on the website of the Stop The Wall organization under the self-described “Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign,” subtitled “Settlements, Land and Resource Theft, Destruction of Land.”

According to the report, residents of the Judean Jewish community of Bat Ayin allegedly cut and destroyed “dozens of trees on the land of farmer Hamad Abdul Hamid Jaber” last Thursday morning, including 55 grape vines, 1 quince tree and 45 olive trees, two of which were “more than 30 years old.”

The alleged attackers also reportedly wrote slogans calling for a “price to be paid” and “death to the Arabs,” although the article posted on the site does not say in which language these epithets were written, nor where the slogans appeared, or whether they were painted, or scrawled with a marker. 

“Settlers hurled insults and death threats in Arabic at the farmer, Hamad, which were captured on camera,” the report continued – but no video clip documenting this accusation is posted on the site.

The article does not mention whether Israeli or Palestinian Authority security personnel were called to the scene -- or if they were, what occurred upon their arrival.

“Hamad was working on his land... when the surprise attack and stones thrown by the settlers forced him to retreat. Once the settlers left, he returned to his land to view the damage and the huge losses he sustained.”  

There are no photos posted on the site to document the damage in the 78-year-old farmer’s field, nor any photos of the past damage the article accuses residents of Bat Ayin of having perpetrated, saying “this is the fifth time this year and second time in two weeks” such attacks have been carried out. 

The article goes on to say the farmer is “forced to leave his land and suffer these attacks regularly while settlers continue their annexation and seizure of land for settlements. Hamad continues to appeal to all official and governmental institutions and human rights organizations; but it appears no one is listening.”

Above the article in bold writing are large pull-down menus for “From Palestine,” “Solidarity,” “Resources,” and most important, “Support Us.” 

The vague, unverified tale published with the tragic image of an elderly farmer whose field seems to have been savaged by ruthless Jewish vandals with an endless appetite for national expansion is an irresistible pull for the foreign donor to swoop in to save the helpless underdog. 

But nothing is documented, no facts verified. Such articles are too often swallowed whole by naive readers who are thus led to believe Israel to be the “monster” the PA creates in the public eye. 

It is also important to note that the Judean PA village of Beit Ummar, located along Highway 60, is known to be a hotbed of terrorist activity.

The area is one which has become increasingly dangerous for Israeli motorists who are sometimes forced to drive through a hail of deadly rock attacks hurled by would-be Arab killers at the sides of road. It is also the site of periodic attacks by rioting Arab teens and men hurling rocks, bottles and firebombs (Molotov cocktails) which are faced by IDF soldiers, some of whom are injured in the process.