On Thursday overnight Arabs entered an IDF outpost next to the Shomron town of Yitzhar and vandalized the site. Among other things, the Arabs left anti-Israel and anti-Semitic graffiti. As a result of the vandalism, the army has shut down access routes for Arabs to harvest their olive groves until further notice.
The Arabs had been permitted to enter the area belonging to Yitzhar in order to collect olives from their trees, as the olive harvest is in full swing now. A number of Arab “workers,” intent on fomenting problems, apparently accompanied the agricultural workers, said IDF officials. Officials said that there had been other security incidents due to the admission of the workers, such as stones thrown at Yitzhar residents on internal roads in the town, where Arabs were allowed to enter in order to conduct the harvest.
The army has opened an investigation into the incident. Yitzhar residents have demanded that the harvest in the region be stopped altogether and not temporarily, as the Arabs have “proven” that they will use the opportunity to attack Israelis. In a statement, Yitzhar officials said that “we see this incident as a very serious one, and one which could have ended in a far more serious manner. The olive harvest, which is supposed to be conducted under heavy security, has proven time after time to be a major security risk and a danger to life. We should end this farce once and for all.”