Vineyards in the area of Shiloh that settlers say were vandalized by Palestinians.
(photo credit: YESH DIN)
Settlers charged that Palestinians had vandalized some 1,000 grapevines in a vineyard that belongs to Meshek Achiya, a business located near the Shiloh settlement in the West Bank.
The company is best known for its olive oil.
Meshek Achiya’s CEO David Zitzer charged that Palestinians had cut the vines over the weekend, explaining that the damage – costing hundreds of thousands of shekels – was discovered only on Sunday morning.
“It’s the sixth time in the last decades that Arabs have destroyed our trees,” Zitzer said, adding that this attack has been the most severe.
“It will be two years before the damage can be recouped,” he added.
The Benjamin Regional Council charged that it was an act of “agricultural terrorism.”
Yesha Council deputy head Yigal Dilmoni added that this “is one of the largest agricultural attacks in the region in recent years. We’re talking about 1,000 grapevines that have been uprooted and will not yield more fruit. They would have produced quality wine from the biblical heartland.”
“We ask the government and the police to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to justice,” Dilmoni said.
The police said it was investigating the matter.
But the attack on Meshek Achiya was just one of a number of incidents of agricultural vandalism that occurred in the West Bank over the weekend.
The Kfar Etzion Field School reported that Palestinians from Beit Umar set fire to a grove of pine trees in the area, near a historical site called the Mukhtar Saddle.
“It’s the largest such fire in recent years,” it said.
Field School director Yaron Rosenthal said that such attempts to push the Jews out of the Gush Etzion area were doomed to fail.
Palestinians, in turn, charged that settlers had vandalized their trees.
The left-wing NGO Yesh Din reported that vandals cut down hundreds of grape vines belonging to Palestinian farmers from the village of Bani Naim, east of Hebron. Hebrew graffiti was spray painted in the area that said “Enough of agricultural terror – we can be everywhere.”
The Palestinian news agency WAFA charged that settlers destroyed some 1,000 grape trees near the Palestinian town of Halhoul.
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