(Illustration)Flash 90

Security officials revealed on Monday that an Arab gang illicitly entered the community of Itamar, located in the Binyamin region of Samaria, on Friday night to steal sheep.

The foray was caught on security camera film, revealing abuse of the animals by the Arab thieves who broke in on Shabbat in an unsuccessful raid.

The gang managed to escape – but barely – when the thieves' “lookout” alerted them that the owner of the flock they were planning to steal was out in the field, having been awakened by suspicious noises.

The thieves, however, had not noticed the cameras that had been placed in the field and barns where the sheep were being kept. The camera captured not only the methods used by the thieves, but also showed them mistreating and torturing the animals that were trying to escape.

“This is not the first time thieves have tried to steal my sheep,” said intended victim Eliezer Hirschberg, who aside from raising sheep is also a professor of mathematics at Ariel University.

Sagi Keizler, chairman of the Samaria Residents Committee, decried the thefts, accusing police of failing to do their job.

“They must regard theft with the same severity as murder,” he said. “If they can get in to steal animals, they can get in to do much worse. Samaria and Binyamin residents are not second-class citizens, and the time has come to ensure that they are as safe as residents of other communities in Israel.”

It should be noted that while the target this time was sheep, Arab terrorists in 2011 broke into Itamar and massacred the Fogel family, killing Ehud (Udi) and Ruth in their home along with three of their six young children, the youngest being their three-month-old daughter Hadas.

Methods of sheep rustling

The incident shed a great deal of light on the methods used by Arabs throughout Israel to steal cattle and sheep from Israeli farmers.

Cattle and sheep rustling, along with other types of farm thefts, have become a major plague throughout Israel, with Arab gangs stealing crops, animals, and farming equipment, often on a large scale.

Farmers file literally thousands of complaints over such thefts each year, but it has been complained that police rarely act on them, considering them not important enough to deal with. Frustrated with the lack of action by authorities, farmers often hire private security companies to protect them.

Generally, the thieves set up a watch on their target, who alert the thieves via cellphone if Jewish residents or security forces have detected them.