Agricultural warfare again hits Gush Etzion

Migdal Oz orchard owner finds uprooted, felled cherry trees, stolen and wrecked equipment. 'They close cases for "lack of public interest".'

Shimon Cohen ,

המטע שנגדע
המטע שנגדע
צילום: צביקה קליין

More agricultural theft and destruction in the Gush Etzion area, this time in the Migdal Oz plantations. Tzvika Klein, the cherry orchard owner who absorbed the destruction, tells of the incident and says local Muslims are responsible for the act. "Jews don't come there and our neighbors are Arabs," he says.

"We're there every day. Because of the bad weather we didn't get there for two days. When we arrived this morning we saw the damage: About 30 young cherry trees uprooted and a computer panel with a solar cell that charges the irrigation center batteries was stolen. In the process, they also damaged electrical wires and broke a cabinet."

Klein estimates the damage at several thousand shekels. He rejects the possibility that inclement weather hit the plantation causing the damage, pointing out that it was a closed and tidy area surrounded by a fence, so that no animal could enter and certainly weather was not responsible, as some of the saplings were uprooted and others were cleanly cut.

"Police arrived fairly quickly but because of the weather, they probably didn't find anything," Klein says, relating that police forensics said the vandals were apparently wearing gloves, so it would be very difficult to trace them. He himself finds it difficult to believe the police will be able to reach the perpetrators, as in the past, no perpetrators of similar acts have been caught. "I don't think they ever caught anyone from such thefts. Sometimes they close the case after two or three days out of 'lack of public interest'."