Is­rael or­ders Pales­tini­ans to leave Jor­dan val­ley

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Regional -

DOZENS of Pales­tinian fam­i­lies in Be­douin com­mu­ni­ties in the Jor­dan Val­ley have been ordered by the Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties to per­ma­nently va­cate their land, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal res­i­dents.

“Thirty fam­i­lies re­ceived mil­i­tary war­rants on Thurs­day or­der­ing them to va­cate their land within eight days, ef­fec­tive as of Nov. 2,” Mahdi Daragh­meh, a mem­ber of the Jor­dan Val­ley coun­cil, told Anadolu Agency. “The war­rant calls for the evac­u­a­tion of 60 struc­tures in the Al-Maleh and Umm Al­ja­mal ar­eas in the north­ern part of the val­ley,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Daragh­meh, 200 Pales­tini­ans in­clud­ing 45 women and 60 chil­dren, cur­rently live in these ar­eas.

On Wed­nes­day, Is­raeli Hous­ing Min­is­ter Yoav Galant said his min­istry was de­vel­op­ing a plan aimed at “strengthen- ing Jewish com­mu­ni­ties in the Jor­dan Val­ley.”

Un­der this plan, Galant said, the gov­ern­ment “will trans­fer funds to Is­raeli co­op­er­a­tives and agricultural vil­lages in the Jor­dan Val­ley for ev­ery new [Jewish] fam­ily mov­ing there.” He added that the gov­ern­ment also plans to launch a mar­ket­ing cam­paign aimed at en­cour­ag­ing Jewish set­tle­ment in the re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to the 1993 Oslo Ac­cords, “Area C” of the West Bank which in­cludes the Jor­dan Val­ley, falls un­der full Is­raeli ad­min­is­tra­tive and se­cu­rity con­trol.

Roughly 6,000 Jewish set­tlers cur­rently live in 21 Is­raeli set­tle­ments scat­tered across the Jor­dan Val­ley re­gion. The Jewish state sees the strate­gic val­ley as a vi­tal eco­nomic and se­cu­rity zone for its set­tle­ments and wants to keep the re­gion un­der its firm con­trol in any fu­ture peace deal with the Pales­tini­ans.

Pales­tini­ans, for their part, want the val­ley, a large and fer­tile strip of land that ac­counts for roughly one quar­ter of the West Bank, as part of a sought-for Pales­tinian state.

More than 10,000 Pales­tini­ans live in makeshift homes in the val­ley, as Is­rael has pro­hib­ited the con­struc­tion of per­ma­nent struc­tures in the area. An­i­mal hus­bandry and farm­ing con­sti­tute the main source of liveli­hood for most of the val­ley’s in­hab­i­tants.

More than 600,000 Is­raelis live in set­tle­ments in the West Bank, in­clud­ing an­nexed East Jerusalem, which are seen as a ma­jor ob­sta­cle to peace be­tween Is­rael and Pales­tini­ans. They live along­side some 3 mil­lion Pales­tini­ans.

Af­ter the 1967 war, Is­rael an­nexed East Jerusalem and deems the en­tire city its “in­di­vis­i­ble and eter­nal cap­i­tal,” a sta­tus not rec­og­nized in­ter­na­tion­ally. Is­rael pulled out of Gaza in 2005 and it is now ruled by Ha­mas.

The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity re­gards all Is­raeli set­tle­ments in oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries to be il­le­gal and a ma­jor ob­sta­cle to Mid­dle East peace. The area, cap­tured by Is­rael in 1967, is not sov­er­eign Is­raeli ter­ri­tory and Pales­tini­ans there are not Is­raeli cit­i­zens and do not have the right to vote. Pales­tini­ans ac­cuse Is­rael of wag­ing an ag­gres­sive cam­paign to “Ju­daize” the his­toric city with the aim of ef­fac­ing its Arab and Is­lamic iden­tity and driv­ing out its Pales­tinian in­hab­i­tants.

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