Bedouin price tag: burn barn at Kibbutz Revivim
12/11/2012 By Akiva Bigman
[translation by IMRA]
[Video of calves being stolen
Two huge barns were torched by young Bedouin sector protest against
demolition of houses in Bir - Hadaj
The barns burning. Damage of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Photo: Akiva
In the wake of increased police activity this morning held in Bir - Hadaj,
the residents of the village decided to return fire. The morning began with
violent riots in the village during which several residents and children
were injured from tear gas inhalation continuing with blocking of the main
roads in the area with burning tires that cut off Kibbutz Revivim and Kfar
Ratmim from their access roads. The disturbances in the Bedouin sector were
observed by public figures including MK Taleb al - Sana who also took the
trouble to come.
But after police forces cleared the blockades a completely different drama
began, this time at the facilities of the kibbutz: "I was working on the
roof and saw him coming from the orchards and throw something at the barn"
Shlomi Shoshan, who was installing solar panels on the roofs of the barn of
the kibbutz, told Mida. "Before I could understand what it was immediately
all the barn caught fire." According to him, after the arsonist distanced
himself he could hear the sounds of ATVs that apparently were waiting for
him at the tree line.
Kibbutz members who were called tried to fight the flames, in a desperate
attempt to prevent the spread of fire. It took the closest fire department
vehicle an hour to reach the scene.
This is not the first time that the kibbutz suffered harassment and crime
coming from the neighbors across the fence. Just two weeks ago 16 calves we
stolen from the dairy, a theft that puts the number of calves stolen this
year to more than thirty.
"What is happening here right now is a problem between the police and the
Bedouin" Eran Erez, manager of the kibbutz dairy, told Mida. "There's no
interest in Kibbutz Revivim. We have nothing to do with this matter and
harmed nobody," he says, "besides letting off their anger and frustration
this action doesn’t give the Bedouin anything and only leads us to the
situation that we will not have food for the cows and it adds another match
to the very complicated reality that we have here. "
According to him, the ability to protect the property of the kibbutz is very
limited. "We barricaded inside the fences but also outside them we have
orchards, barns and chicken coops. We are very vulnerable. Nothing stops
someone from coming at night and burning the rest. To maintain it properly
would require a battalion of Police. Is this what we need here? Could be. "
Meanwhile, the sabotage of three water pipes was discovered in the afternoon
that connect the agricultural facilities to the Mekorot network. Damage to
these pipes can cause severe damage to the fields and orchards fed by them.
The veteran kibbutz that enjoys seeing itself as having good neighborly
relations with the neighboring Bedouin tribes may wake up to a new reality.
As reported by Mida in the past, due to the Land Authority's determination
to regulate the settlement in Bir Hadaj, tension between the residents and
the state is growing every day, and the differentiation made by the Bedouin
between their neighbors and the state becomes less and less clear.