Tue, 08 Mar 2005

From: AFP

Jewish settlers, Palestinians collude to steal chickens

JERUSALEM: A Jewish settlement security chief was caught red handed stealing thousands of chickens in the West Bank with two Palestinian accomplices disguised in carnival masks overnight, police said last Friday.

The 42-year-old man responsible for protecting people and property in the Jewish settlement of Naaran was arrested along with a 20-year-old fellow settler and two Palestinians from east Jerusalem, said Israeli police.

Police said the poultry thieves were caught red handed in the Jordan Valley settlement loading 320 cages, each crammed with 20 chickens into a van.

They disguised their faces with masks more commonly used for the Jewish carnival, Purim.

A dozen Palestinian workers innocently caught up in the theft were detained and later released, while the two Israelis were remanded in custody by a Jerusalem court on Friday. The fate of the detained Palestinian accomplices was not immediately known.

Police were tipped off by a caretaker who said the chicken robbers had threatened him with clubs and machineguns. AFP