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Farmers at the Forefront, an initiative of the Regavim NGO whose mission is “to ensure responsible, legal, accountable & environmentally friendly use of Israel’s national lands and the return of the rule of law to all areas and aspects of the land and its preservation,” is offering free legal representation to Israeli farmers who have shot criminal invaders on their property.

“Feel abandoned? Afraid to sleep at night? Need counseling and legal defense? We’re on your side,” says a press release from the new organization, which sees itself as a bulwark against the plague of burglaries in Israeli owned farms both inside the green line and in Judea and Samaria.

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The Regavim press release describes dozens of calls the group is receiving from farmers asking for legal counseling regarding invasions of their agricultural plots as well as their private domains in Kibbutz, Moshav, and private communities. One such individual was a farmer from the Aviam moshav in the Golan, who has endured years of harassment by criminals from the nearby Bedouin town of Tuba-Zangariyye. Two years ago he was attacked by three Bedouins who tried to injure him but was able to defend himself. The criminals then filed a complaint against him with local police which confiscated his legally licensed handgun.

Another was a framer from Yavne’el who’s been suffering from invasions of his grazing lands by the Bedouin villagers of Rumat al-Heib, who cut down his fences and cause additional damages. Finally they stole cows from his barnyard, and when he complained to police, the Border Guard policeman who arrived to investigate stole one of his calves, then closed the file “for lack of public interest.” After the Farmers at the Forefront became involved on the farmer’s behalf the case was reopened and the robber policeman was indicted.

“We believe that once there’s an address for the farmers to turn to, the burglars will understand eventually that it doesn’t pay to mess with them,” declares Farmers at the Forefront. “We can’t continue to abandon Israel’s farmers in the field, literally. They guard our land, so we will guard them, and until the State does what it’s supposed to — we’ll do it.”

If you’ve recently shot a burglar on your farm or need any other kind of advise on your thieving villager neighbors, write to agro.law@regavim.org or call 02-547-0022.

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