The event, held on the Jewish holiday of Tu B'Shvat, aimed to block the hazardous dust that is being disseminated by a nearby tree-processing plant.
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The factory's owner and a resident of Jurat al-Shama, 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 while also tightening our ties and work towards peaceful co-existence," he said, refering 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.
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