Israeli Companies Plunder the Palestinian Jordan Valley
Violation: Allowing Israeli companies to work along the border line with Jordan while preventing Palestinians from that merit
Location: The Jordan Valley, Jericho governorate
Perpetrators: Bik'at HaYarden Regional Council- The Israeli military
The area adjacent to the border line of the Jordan River is witnessing unprecedented rush of activities carried out either by the Jordan Valley settlement council (known as Bik'at HaYarden Regional Council or Aravot HaYarden) or by the Israeli army itself.
The locations that witness the abovementioned phenomenon are along the Jordan River, starting from Ein Gedi and ending with Bardala village. These areas were declared closed military zones and mine land by the Israeli occupation from 1967 and until the mid of 2013. Palestinians are thus denied access to them for these reasons in addition to their being border areas as the Israeli occupation claims.
The Jordan Valley is highly fertile land in general and the aforementioned areas in particular; they had been used by Palestinians before to produce different crops, mainly vegetables, as the place was abundant with water resources, namely from the Jordan River and eastern water cistern. The whole area was flourishing and becoming a favorite attraction for investors in the fields of agriculture and livestock husbandry. Alas, that did not stay for long as the Israeli occupation of the Valley in 1967 changed everything. It declared the area a closed military zone and took control of all water resources.
Role exchange between the settlement council and Israeli army:
It is worth mentioning that some Israeli companies have started dismantling landmines in areas bordering Jordan, amid the stability the border line enjoys. This is what the Israeli Prime Minister explicitly announced without giving extra information regarding the fate of the lands after dismantling mines. Will they be returned to their legitimate owners or not?!
But as expected, the settlement council rushed to seize these lands as if they were state property and Israeli companies have started establishing farms all over the place.
This in turn brings us back to square one: the Palestinians have been deprived of their lands in the border areas because the Israeli occupation has announced them a closed military zone, only to be seized by colonists who are taking advantage of these lands under the protection of the Israeli military.
Other Israeli companies are taking advantage of the border areas:
Through field observation, LRC has observed that the Israeli water company, Mekorot, has already embarked on searching for water in the area that is only 1km away from the borderline with Jordan, specifically near Adam crossing in the Jordan Valley. This is the very same area that was inaccessible to even soldiers, now it has become a target for colonists and investors alike!!
Picture 1: Mekorot searching for water in the area that used to be a mine land
Creating facts in the Jordan Valley:
It should be marked that the Jordan Valley is among the most targeted areas by the Israeli government and colonists. According to the Israeli narrative, the Valley forms the eastern border of the Israeli state.
The Israeli occupation has devoted all efforts to annex the Jordan Valley to the state of Israel. There are over 20 agricultural colonies in the Palestinian Jordan Valley and they enjoy certain privileges for being there. On top of that, the Israeli occupation has turned more than half of the Valley lands into closed military zones and targeted its population with eviction and displacement.
The Land Research Center