Dozens of Israelis gathered on Monday to plant hundreds of trees outside the community of Reihan in Samaria, near the spot where the late Esther Horgan, a 52-year-old mother of six, was murdered last month by a terrorist (Mother of 6 Brutally Murdered in Shomron Terror Attack).
The planting, organized by Im Tirtzu, was attended by Esther Horgan’s daughter Avigail and her daughter-in-law Keren, the Chief Rabbi of Tsfat Shmuel Eliyahu, and other activists and members of the surrounding communities.
“My mother was always very Zionistic,” said Avigail Horgan at the event. “Already at the age of 18 she decided to immigrate to Israel. She came alone and it was very important for her to live in Tal Menashe to strengthen the communities of Judea and Samaria. She also loved nature. Wherever we traveled in the world, she always wanted to see nature. She always loved to tell Jews throughout the world how important it was to live in Israel.”
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said at the event: “Terrorists are trying to kill us and chase us away, but we will not be deterred and will continue to plant and build in our land.”
Dr. Yechiel Shabi, a professor at Bar-Ilan University and head of the Nofei Reihan Educational Center, hosted the event and called on the public to visit and plant more trees in Esther Horgan’s memory.
The event was held as part of a demonstration calling for an increased Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria.
According to recent reports, the Palestinian Authority and other groups have increased their efforts to seize land in Judea and Samaria through illegal construction and planting of trees.
Last month, the government announced that it would be allocating NIS 20 million ($6 million) in 2021 toward establishing a new initiative aimed at preventing illegal land seizures in Judea and Samaria.
The event was also held in honor of Tu BiShvat, the Jewish New Year for the Trees. Im Tirtzu holds its annual Tu BiShvat event in memory of Coby Burstein, a lone soldier and Im Tirtzu activist who was killed in a car accident in 2015. The event was attended by Coby’s parents, Susan and Shaya Burstein, and other members of the Burstein family.