Arab vandals destroyed 10 dunams (2.5 acres) of vineyards next to the town of Esh Kodesh, near Shiloh, in Samaria this weekend.
Tzvi Struk, the son of former Jewish Home MK Orit Struk and a farmer in Esh Kodesh, discovered this past weekend that Arabs from a nearby village had snuck into his vineyard Friday night and destroyed many of the grapevines growing there.
The grapes, of the cabernet sauvignon variety, were due to be harvested in just two months. From Esh Kodesh, the grapes were to be sent to wine presses around the country.
According to Struk, the destruction of this year’s harvest will cost him several hundred thousand shekels. In addition, the damage to the vines will impact their ability to produce grapes for years to come.
Residents of Esh Kodesh say they have suffered from similar acts of vandalism or theft for the past decade, with agricultural projects near Esh Kodesh the most frequently targeted by local Arabs. In the past 10 years, they say, no Arab has been arrested for any of the crimes against residents’ property.
In response to the years of harassment and vandalism, and in order to help Struk’s vineyard survive, residents have launched a campaign to raise money to pay for vineyard’s restoration.