JORDAN VALLEY, Thursday, October 01, 2020 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Ministry of Local Government today issued the first batch of building permits for the Palestinian residents in the Israeli-controlled northern Jordan Valley.
This step is seen as defying Israeli control of the occupied Jordan Valley and its plans to annex it despite strong international opposition.
"We are facing the (Israeli) occupation plans with all the elements guaranteed to us by international laws and our right to this land which we no longer recognize its classifications," said Minister of Local Government Majdi Saleh in reference to the Oslo classification of the occupied West Bank into A, under full Palestinian rule, B, Palestinian administration and Israeli security control, and C, full Israeli military control.
"We in the Ministry are building the foundations for the sovereign State of Palestine on its territory in accordance with the principles of the international humanitarian law, and in accordance with the signed agreements that give the Palestinian Authority the power to plan in its entire territory occupied since 1967," he said at a ceremony in the northern Jordan Valley village of Kardala to deliver the building permits.
After Israel's announcement earlier this year that it intends to annex the occupied Jordan Valley, the Palestinian Authority decided to end all agreements and cooperation with it and set plans to assume full control over the Jordan Valley and Area C in general, which makes up more than 60 percent of the area of the occupied West Bank and which the Palestinians see as vital for their future independent state.
"We in the Palestinian government have developed a comprehensive plan for the Jordan Valley based on putting all available resources to strengthen the resilience of its citizens and strengthen their presence on their lands," said Saleh.
He stressed that issuing these permits "is a right for us and our citizens, and we in the Ministry of Local Government are doing our job," explaining that "these permits are a legal weapon in the hands of the citizens despite all the practices of the occupation and its condescending attitude toward the laws."
Israel constantly demolishes structures built by Palestinians in Area C, including the Jordan Valley, claiming they were built without a permit, rarely, if ever, issued for Palestinians. It does not allow any development there while using the occupied land for its illegal settlement activity.