Esh Kodesh
Esh Kodesh Garrett Mills/Flash 90

Arab rioters from the town of Kusra in Samaria arrived on Shabbat morning as is their custom to the agricultural lands of nearby Esh Kodesh in the Shiloh Bloc region, where they set on fire vineyards and fields located on state land, setting off clashes with the Jewish residents.

IDF forces arrived and broke up the clashes, using tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the Arab rioters.

Hila Mann, a resident of Esh Kodesh, told Arutz Sheva on Sunday about the incident the day before, saying, "as they do many times on Shabbat, Arabs from the village of Kusra came here to our vineyards and fields on state land."

"They try to spark a provocation, they arrived with a tractor and lots of people from the village," she described. "We called up the army and the police. We ran there in the meantime, men from the town (ran) to defend the vineyards and the land. Also residents from the towns around us arrived."

In a call for action, Mann said, "the Arabs also started to set fire there. I turn to the Defense Minister (Moshe Ya'alon), in these days when he is busy with arrests against Jews, let him come here and see what is happening on state land and see what the situation is."

Yisrael, another resident of the town, told Arutz Sheva that "this was like every Shabbat in recent weeks."

"Two years ago the IDF put a pillbox (guard post - ed.) there to prevent these clashes, but the Arabs returned to pester us on state land. Of course on their land they work peacefully with no interruption, and the IDF guards them from everything, they work there with absolutely no problems on their land," he noted.

"The moment they come onto state land it creates a clash both between the IDF and us, as well as between us and them (the Arabs - ed.)," said Yisrael.

Criticizing security forces, he said, "instead of dealing with a village that is pro-Hamas, that damages Jewish communities here - not only us but other towns around the village - and making arrests as needed to bring quiet to the region, they deal with trivial matters."

"I turn here to members of the security forces, who I think are the people appointed to this issue and who should deal with this matter, because it can't continue this way, making hundreds of Jewish families suffer from disquiet because of several violent villages."

So far the army has been less than forthcoming in preventing Arab attempts to seize land near Esh Kodesh, such as in one incident last December when the IDF let Arabs plow land adjacent to the homes of residents - despite the Arabs having no evidence for any claims of ownership to the land.

The interviews, in Hebrew, can be viewed below.

אש קודש: קוראים ליעלון להתעורר