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March 15, 2021 9:18 am

Agricultural Crime in Israel Spikes, Faith in Police Declines, New Report Says

avatar by Israel Hayom / JNS.org

A laborer and Israeli farmer Guy Golan tend to calves in their shed at his farm in Be’er Tuvia, southern Israel, Feb. 5, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

JNS.org – A new report by HaShomer HaChadash (“the New Guard”), an Israeli volunteer organization dedicated to safeguarding the land and farms in the Negev and the Galilee, finds that agricultural crime increased by 46 percent in 2020.

There were 2,172 incidents of agricultural crime in 2020 compared to 1,481 the previous year, according to the report. Meanwhile, 58 percent of farmers said that they had been the victims of agricultural crime in 2020, compared to 67 percent in 2019—more criminal acts targeting fewer farms—which points to perpetrators having targeted specific farms.

The majority of incidents involved the theft of both produce and equipment. In 2020, agricultural damages sustained as a result of crime stood at 23.5 million shekels (around $7 million), a 10 percent increase from 2019.

Some 35 percent of farmers do not report the agricultural crime to the police. A majority of those said that they either did not trust the police or that the police would not do anything about the crime.

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