TUBAS, Thursday, June 01, 2023 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers today fenced off tracts of
Palestinian land in the northern Jordan Valley, according to a local activist.
‘Aref Daraghmeh, a human rights activist, said that a group of over 10 settlers erected a fence around tracts of Palestinian land, north of Um al-‘Ubar area and to the west of Road 90, which extends the length of the valley parallel to the Jordan River, citing the designation of the land as a nature reserve as a pretext.
Designating an area as a nature reserve may convey the impression that Israel wishes to protest the environment. In practice, however, Israeli has been using such designations for advancing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
The valley, which is a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, is home to about 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank.
Since 1967, when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley. Some of the settlements in which they live were built almost entirely on private Palestinian land.
The Israel military has also designated about 46 percent of the Jordan Valley as a closed military zone since the beginning of the occupation in June 1967, and has been utilizing the pretext of military drills to forcefully displace Palestinian families living there as part of a policy of ethnic cleansing and stifling Palestinian development in the area.
Approximately 6,200 Palestinians live in 38 communities in places earmarked for military use and have had to obtain permission from the Israeli authorities to enter and live in their communities.
In violation of international law, the Israeli military not only temporarily displaces the communities on a regular basis, but also confiscates their farmlands, demolishes their homes and infrastructure from time to time.
Besides undergoing temporary displacement, the Palestinian families living there face a myriad restrictions on access to resources and services. Meanwhile, Israel exploits the resources of the area and generates profit by allocating generous tracts of land and water resources for the benefit of settlers.
Israeli politicians have made it clear on several occasions that the highly strategic Jordan Valley would remain under their control in any eventuality.