(Hat Tip: Nature & National Parks Protection Authority)
Upper Galilee Head park officer Offer Yaacov of the Nature & National Parks Protection Authority could feel something was wrong. With his men he traced down a dubious group of people, suspecting them for performing illegal porcupine hunt. When Yaacov succeeded to block the suspects’ car, one of the (alleged) hunters approached him and hit him in the head with a bludgeon. Sometime during the confrontation Yaacov’s gun fell down. The hunter did not think twice â€“ he reached down to it, held the gun to the park officer’s head and said: “You’d better get your car off the road.” The young hunter and his two companions left with Yaacov’s gun, and although they were arrested by the police that chased them down, they were released that very night to a partial house arrest.
It didn’t take long before Yaacov got a phone call from the audacious hunter, who threatened him to keep silent, “I know who you are and where you live.” Yaacov too knew the person on the other side of the line: the son of a herdsman whom Yaacov had given professional advice.
Apparently this is not the first case of violence manifested against nature reserves officers â€“ lawbreakers have tried to fend off officers on duty by drowning them, running them over and hurling bricks at them. These are not just porcupine or partridge hunters (recently labeled as protected animal in Israel), but also local villagers who run their illegal businesses on the account of the country’s natural resources â€“ selling dug earth, cutting down trees, polluting, you just name it.
The park officers, who are well aware of the dangers of their occupation, feel discriminated; “but what if a gun was pointed at some cop’s head, would they still release the offender the same night?”
It’s about time that criminals in Israel â€“ of all stripes â€“ get punished for their wrong-doings. No wonder they feel free to take the law (and the law-keeper ‘s gun) into their hands. There’s no other way out â€“ but to fight fire with fire!