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Sunday, January 6, 2013

IDF: 200 Palestinians Attack Esh Kodesh Vineyards

Source: The Jerusalem State
By Tovah Lazaroff 

Some 200 Palestinians attacked the vineyards of the West Bank Esh Kodesh outpost on Saturday afternoon, according to the IDF.

Esh Kodesh spokesman Aron Katsof said 12 outpost residents were injured as a result, including one who was treated in the hospital and then released.

The Palestinians came very close to the homes and destroyed vineyards, Katsof said.

The IDF added that Palestinians were able to cut through one of the fences protecting the vineyards. He added that the window of a security vehicle was also broken by the stones.

Hella Mann of Esh Kodesh said that the three-hour event began when a number of people from the outpost went for a walk.

Palestinians observed them and within minutes, it seemed as if hundreds arrived and began to throw stones.

“It was as if they were organized and waiting,” Mann said.

She added that her brother-in-law was injured in the head by one of the stones.

It took the army over half-an-hour to arrive, said Mann who watched the events unfold from the window of her home where she lives with her two small girls, ages 3 and 1.

She blamed the attack on a military order to allow Palestinians to work a field near the outpost.

“It was not like this before,” Mann said, who explained that she felt that military order compromised the security of outpost residents.

“I am worried for my girls,” she said.

The incident is the latest in a series of violent and non-violent exchanges between Palestinians and settlers in that area in the last week. It is part of extended battle for ownership of farm-lands around the outpost.

A military order allows Palestinians to plow a field near the outpost to which both they and Esh Kodesh residents claim ownership.

Twice last week, Esh Kodesh residents went to the field to physically prevent the Palestinians from working it.  In the first incident they held a picnic on the field, and were forcibly removed by the IDF and Border Police. Katsof said that security forces used tear gas and stun grenades against them.

In the second incident women from Esh Kodesh tried to stand in front of the Palestinians, but were removed by security forces.

The IDF reported that last week settlers attacked the nearby Palestinian villages of Kasra and Jalud, breaking windows and lightly injuring one Palestinian. Katsof said that Esh Kodesh residents did not participate in the attacks.

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