Hashomer Hachadash guards
Hashomer Hachadash guards Hashomer Hechadash

Farmers in Israel's north and south came under attack in October and November in several incidents of theft that volunteer organization Hashomer Hachadash say are part of a spike in such crimes that is linked to the general tension between Arabs and Jews.

Earlier this week, Arabs attempted to steal a water pump from a water purification facility near Ketziot, in the Negev. The fence was torn. Hashomer volunteers assisted the farmer who owns the pump and helped guard the facility at night.

Last Friday, two calves were stolen at Alonim and a third was stolen in Binyamina.

Earlier in the month, Hashomer volunteers caught Arab invading land with a herd of 20 unmarked cows. The suspects ran away once they saw they were being videotaped.

Two weeks ago, Hashomer volunteers joined a police chase after thieves who escaped from Ein Hashofet with three bulls and two calves they had stolen from farmer Yonatan Phoenix. Two bulls were located near the Menashe Forests, and returned to their owner. The third was found slaughtered nearby. The thieves escaped.

Other incidents in October included the theft of four calves in Binyamina, and thefts of calves and sheep at Michmanim, Ramat Sirin and Kibbutz Gilad. In Kfar Glickson, irrigation equipment was stolen.

Hashomer Hechadash says that these thefts took place in places where the volunteer organization was unable to provide protection, for lack of manpower. It says the waiting list of farmers seeking help from Hashomer volunteers is growing longer and asks all those interested in guarding Israel's farms to contact the group.

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