Jewish farmers in the highly strategic region of Tapuach in the Shomron found themselves surrounded by Arabs, international “peace” activists and Israeli soldiers and cops as they arrived on 21 Oct 2003 to pick olives. No less than 13 jeeps were on hand to protect the interests of neighboring Arabs who claim that Jewish farmers are harvesting olives that were planted by Arabs.
In most cases the Arabs and the Jews lack the necessary land deeds to claim ownership of the contested orchards and fields. The Civil Administration is often more lenient with Arabs, who are not forced to prove land ownership. Most Jewish farmers are not permitted to harvest in contested areas unless they can produce formal title documents. A Jew, who can prove that he has been farming a patch of land for more than 10 years, can only begin to file for ownership, if there is no Arab contesting. An Arab is not required to go through that procedure to farm land, they claim ownership to.
It is clear why the Arabs contest Jewish land claims – they wish to control Israel and to reap the economic fruits of the land. The actions of the so called peace activists, who hate Israel, is also no mystery. However, what in the world is the IDF doing? Only a few miles away, 3 Israeli soldiers were killed 20 Oct 2003 , near Ofrah. Surely the IDF could find something more urgent to do, than to protect the olives of Arabs. 13 IDF and police jeeps to protect Arabs form Jewish olive-pickers?
Have they gone completely insane?