Palestinians have been stealing Israeli livestock for a long time.
By Aaron Sull, World Israel News
An unidentified Palestinian was found dead on Wednesday near the Israeli settlement of Itamar in Samaria, a spokesperson for the Israeli police said.
According to local reports, the 30-year-old man, along with two other Palestinians, stole 50 cows from a ranch in Itamar on Friday. The thieves quickly fled and abandoned the herd along the way after security personnel ran after them.
Investigators believe the Palestinian tripped and fell to his death while being chased because no gunshot wounds or other signs of violence were found on him.
To confirm, the body was taken to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute for examination.
Palestinians have been stealing Israeli livestock for a long time. According to The Israeli Cattle Breeders Association (ICBA), stolen cattle are taken to Palestinian Authority-controlled towns where “competing milk and meat markets are being developed at the expense of the knowledge, experience, and investments of the Israeli breeders.”
Cattle thefts are estimated to cost ranchers 30 million shekels a year.
“The cattle-owners are forced to pay from their own pockets for protection devices such as closed-circuit cameras, watchdogs, and alarm systems. But the thieves are getting better and more clever, and they are able to get into the farms and steal cattle despite the means that have been implemented,” Chaim Dayan, a top ICBA official, said as quoted by Arutz7.
Although the Ministry of Agriculture maintains a special police unit in charge of livestock and produce thefts, most cases are not resolved because identifying tags and tracking devices are usually removed.
Recently, more stolen livestock has been recovered thanks to Bactochem, an Israeli agriculture microbiology company, who has designed a database system that tracks animal DNA.