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Jews, Palestinians Plant Trees Together

April 16, 2012
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School children from the Efrat settlement [between Bethlehem and Hebron] and residents of the neighboring Palestinian village plated trees together in an initiative that promoted coexistence in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

The event, held on the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat [New Year for Trees] aimed to block the hazardous dust that is being disseminated by a nearby tree-processing plant. The factory’s owner, Abu-Taled, relented recently to residents’ complaints and built a stone wall that blocked the dust, but the barrier proved bothersome to both the Palestinian and Jewish residents of the area.


When a new traffic circle was installed at the entrance to Efrat recently, Mayor Oded Ravivi decided to level the land between the plant and the settlement and replace the wall with a small forest. “We met with Abu-Taled and agreed to plant a grove on Tu B’Shvat in order to block the dust,” Ravivi said. “Abu-Taled was very enthusiastic and promised to bring friends and employees. This is how we could fulfill the mitzvah [good deed] while also tightening our ties and work towards peaceful coexistence,” referring to the Jewish custom of planting trees on the nature-oriented holiday.


According to Ravivi, the sides are currently considering the possibility that Efrat security personnel would guard the factory at night as part of the effort to cultivate a neighborly relationship.


Source: Excerpts of an article by Akiva Novick, Ynetnews

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