70% of Israeli Farmers Hit by Agricultural Crime, Survey Shows

Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS on 19 January, 2020

By TPS • 19 January, 2020

A frightening 70% of Israeli farmers have suffered at least one incident of agricultural crime in 2019, and a farm was hit eight times on average throughout the year, a survey by the HaShomer HaChadash organization shows.

One in five farmers suffered from a number of agricultural crimes on a monthly basis, the organization said.

A vast 90% of the agricultural crimes were theft, and damage caused by agricultural crime to ranchers in 2019 is estimated at NIS 25 million.

Sadly, only 25 percent of farmers complain to the police about the incidents, and the majority of the cases, 62%, were closed by the authorities for lack of public interest.

Over the past year, HaShomer HaChadash has received a record number of requests from farmers for assistance but was able to assist only 450 of them.

The assistance included guarding of the farms by volunteers and operating a field crew to contend with the thieves. Some 2,300 volunteers went out every night to maintain 64 guard points during 7,251 shifts throughout 2019.

Agricultural crime among farms that do not receive aid from the organization is three times higher than at ranches that receive aid from the organization, the organization noted.

HaShomer HaChadash is a Zionist social-educational organization established in 2007 by volunteers with the goal of safeguarding the land in Israel, assisting farmers and ranchers as well as strengthening the Jewish people’s connections to the land, Jewish values and Zionist identity.

Inspired by pre-state Shomer organization,  the HaShomer HaChadash was established in response to the need for protecting agricultural lands and assisting Israeli farmers in their attempt to cling to the land while contending with a mounting wave of agricultural crime, often carried out by Arabs.

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