Fire at Farm in Jordan Valley on Yom Kippur Called ‘Agricultural Terror’

By Shmuel Smith

A fire at a Jewish farm in the Jordan Valley on leil Yom Kippur was the work of arsonists, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

The Israel Fire and Rescue Services said that the fire at the Dor Farm in the northern Valley burned an estimated NIS 12 million ($3.4 million) worth of produce and equipment, and occurred late on Tuesday night at the Dor Farm on Moshav Mehola. Eleven firefighting crews were sent to the scene, according to the Shomron Fire Station.

Among the tons of produce destroyed were dates, almonds, and aravos (willow branches) for Sukkos.

Nevo Dor, the Dor Farm manager, told Kan Bet radio that security camera footage showed arsonists setting the fire.

David Elhayani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, described the fire as “another painful incident of agricultural terror,” and called on security services to put an end to the phenomenon.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked visited the farm on Thursday morning and accused “Palestinian terrorists” of starting the fire.

 “They started the fire, they threw Molotov cocktails. There are cameras, there are footprints. We need to catch these terrorists and give them at least 10 years in jail,” said Shaked.

She said that farmers in Yehuda and Shomron “are facing agricultural crime, protection rackets, theft, and destruction of produce,” and urged the Knesset to legislate minimum sentences for such crimes.

The services had said earlier on Thursday that “according to the preliminary findings, there is a reasonable suspicion that this was arson. A special investigative team has been established to examine the incident.”

The police have not as yet made it officially a case of arson, but said that suspicions the fire was deliberately set “have strengthened” since during their investigation.

A cherry orchard in Gush Etzion was also apparently set ablaze intentionally on Yom Kippur, though details were not immediately available.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!