Friday, January 31, 12:05 On January 7 the IDF uprooted olive trees which residents of Esh Kodesh hand planted on land belonging to Esh Kodesh. Arabs living in the area do not dispute ownership of the land, however the IDF and the Israeli Civil Administration uprooted the trees, claiming that the presence of the grove constitutes a provocation likely to cause problems between Jews and Arabs living in the area. After the uprooting a group of youth went on a hike from Esh Kodesh and were nearly lynched by an Arab mob. Seven youths were detained on suspicion of involvement in a “price tag” incident and later ordered released by the Jerusalem District Court. On Thursday, January 30 residents of Esh Kodesh replanted the olive trees that had been uprooted on January 7. The IDF and the Israeli Civil Administration uprooted the trees again on the morning of Friday, January 31, still claiming that the olive grove is problematic. As the trees were being uprooted a 30 year old Esh Kodesh resident, who was with his approximately one year old baby at the time, was detained. The baby, who is scheduled for heart surgery next week, was left unsupervised in the car and then handed to a neighbor to take him home.
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