Arabs allegedly uprooted and stole approximately 50 trees planted on Friday in memory of Ori Ansbacher near her hometown of Tekoa in Gush Etzion. Ansbacher was brutally murdered three weeks ago in a forest adjacent to Jerusalem. The trees were planted at the entrance to the town of Nokdim in a ceremony on Friday which was disrupted by Arabs from the nearby village. Violence was prevented by IDF troops. Residents discovered on Sunday morning that the all of the trees had been uprooted.
A resident of the area told TPS news on Sunday that the Arabs have been provoking the Jews who live in the area and trying to prevent them from planting trees or cultivating the land. The Arabs are aided in this by foreign left-wing and anti-Israel organizations. The trees were planted in an area belonging to the Jewish National Fund.
“Only a week ago, we witnessed agricultural terrorism in Kfar Etzion, and we are again witnessing terror in Jewish agriculture by our neighbors,” Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman said, referring to an incident in which cherry trees were chopped down. It is estimated that the Arabs stole about 25 percent of the summer cherry harvest. Last month, Arab vandals destroyed dozens of vines at Israeli-owned vineyards in Shiloh and Hebron. Just days before that incident, vandals also uprooted an Israeli-owned vineyard in the Jordan Valley.
“This phenomenon must not continue to lead to a large wave of destruction in Israeli agriculture,” he said. “The State of Israel must define agricultural terrorism as terrorism in every way and bring about a solution to these phenomena that occur throughout the country… in the North, in the South and in Judea and Samaria. We must take a hard hand and treat these events as a terror attack in every respect,” he continued. “It is forbidden to reach a situation in which it will reach human life. This is the order of the day and a red light must be lit for decision-makers.”