Israeli farmer finds swastika painted on storage unit

Rami Rephael from Jordan Valley says storage where his keeps his tools was also broken into, with equipment stolen; farmer says similar incidents of 'agricultural terror' are frequent, but it's first time he encounters Nazi symbols
Elisha Ben Kimon|
An Israeli farmer discovered Saturday to his dismay that a swastika was spray painted on a storage unit where he keeps his tools.
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  • Rami Rephael, 63, from the Jordan Valley, said the storage unit was not only vandalized but also broken into, with the tools stolen.
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    ההרס בעקבות התקרית
    ההרס בעקבות התקרית
    The vandalized storage unit
    Rephael, who has been living in the Israeli settlement of Mekhora since 1989, immediately alerted the police once he noticed the break-in.
    "Theft and vandalism are something we have been experiencing for a long time, and it's intolerable," he said. "They damage and destroy our agricultural products, equipment, pesticides materials, and the water systems for irrigation. It happens almost every few days, and to everyone around."
    Rephael said that the damage this time was estimated to be around several thousand shekels, but in the past, he and other farmers had suffered losses with a much bigger toll following break-ins.
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    רמי רפאל
    רמי רפאל
    Farmer Rami Rephael
    "Until this incident, I haven't encountered swastikas or such shocking and frightening symbols," Rafael said on Monday while removing them from his container door.
    "You can't work like that, these images are difficult to process."
    The head of the local authority, David Elhayani, said this phenomenon is called "agricultural terror", and it happens in both the north and the south of the country.
    "Besides the theft, we often encounter a lot of destruction, and it is clear that the intention is to damage as much as possible.
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    ההרס בעקבות התקרית
    ההרס בעקבות התקרית
    The breached lock of the storage unit
    "We use everything we can to provide safety and protection to the residents, and we are working with the law enforcement, but we need the government's support," Elhayani said.
    In recent months, there have been quite a few events in which Nazi symbols were displayed in Jewish settlements, but it is the first time the phenomenon has reached the Jordan Valley.
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