Shots were fired at the vehicle of an Israel Nature and Parks Authority ranger on Saturday night in the area of the Tavor River, near Kibbutz Gazit.
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It was the second time in the past two months that a ranger was targeted in the area. Six weeks ago, a ranger’s car was set alight beside his house. In another incident, rangers and policemen were attacked and forced to retreat after they discovered illegally hunted meat in a house in Hurfeish.
In Saturday’s incident, the on-duty ranger approached four men sitting in a car who he suspected of being hunters. The men drove off, shooting at the ranger's vehicle as they did so. Tiberias police and northern district detectives are investigating the case.
The authority’s attempts to enforce a ban on hunting in the Safed area have generated a violent reaction in recent months. Police have yet to make arrests in two cases in which gazelles were killed and their heads strung up in protest against the ban.
"We are ever-present on the ground, which probably makes it harder to hunt, and this act is probably a result of our pressure,” authority northern district director Guy Eilon told Haaretz following the beheading of the gazelles. "The perpetrators of the crime wanted to tell us that they are continuing to hunt, despite our being out there.”
Eilon added that he feared for the safety of the rangers, saying that "whoever carried out these acts are criminals who are, in effect, threatening us. They may even go so far as to harm rangers, this game has no rules."