Declaring Khirbet al-Sakut a closed military zone

Declaring Khirbet al-Sakut a closed military zone


Violation: banning framers from using their 500 dunums lands

Location: eastern side of Jordan Valley/ Tubas

Date: 09/12/2014

Perpetrator: Israeli Occupation Army

Victims: residents of the area


Khirbet al-Sakut is one of the 32 small villages located alongside the area of the  Jordan river; the area was home for agricultural families who lived in there before the year of 1967. Noteworthy, all the aforementioned areas witnessed the so-called Catastrophe in the aftermath of 1967 war, which resulted in declaring the majority of land as "Buffer zone".

150 meters away from the Jordan river and 7km west of Ein al-Bida area, al-Sakut resides there with at least 20 agricultural families inhabiting the area before 1967. In synchronization with 1967 war, the occupation demolished the clay houses and pens relative to the inhabitants of the area, displaced them and declared the area a buffer zone with Jordan. As a result, the area was fenced and landmines were planted to draw boarders.

After the Peace Treaty held between Jordan and Israel, the occupation dismantled the landmines from the boarders area; the free-from-landmines areas were given to colonist to benefit from. The area of al-Sakut was within the lands given to colonists; al-Sakut was known for its water springs, which are now exploited by colonists as  touristic resort named "Ein Sokot". Palestinians are restrictively allowed in the area under intense surveillance.


Photos 1-3:the area of al-Sakut as a military closed zone

Photo 4: al-Sakut with a view of the fence and the landmines area  

By the beginning of 2013, Maskiyyot colonists carried out expansion works on areas from al-Sakut with support of the Israeli military ; this comes within a plan to change facts on the ground.

Legitimizing the colonial expansion is faced by steadfastness of Palestinian farmers  

It should be marked that the governorate of Tubas and its different bodies on December 09, 2014, plowed the area of al-Sakut (500 dunums) for the sake of re-planting it again; this move is considered a counter-strike for colonists who work day and night in looting the lands and expanding on them.

As a result, the occupation declared the area a closed military zone despite its full Palestinian ownership. The area became inaccessible for Palestinians where colonists are given unlimited entry and exit to it anytime under intense protection of the army.

It is indicated that such a practice is not the first of its type all over the West Bank; this is a dangerous index that the occupation intends to confiscate and loot more lands. It should also be marked that the Israeli occupation authorities declared thousands of agricultural dumuns closed military zones in the area of Palestinian Jordan Valley (al-ghoor); some lands were declared as colonies' periphery, taking into account that al-ghoor accommodates 31 colonies.

Land Research Center sees in this step a bribe for colonists, taking into consideration that elections are at doors and that all extreme colonists' votes are needed at time.

Also, Land Research Center sees in land grab and confiscation a violation of Palestinian rights and all international conventions and covenants such like :

  • Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 indicated that: 

Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. is a grave breach of the Convention

Road map for peace treaty( under American, EU, Russia and UN auspices) which was signed on April 2003; the Israel government called upon settlements freeze as follows:

  1. GOI immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001.
  2. Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements)
  3. Resolution 446 of the Security Council stated the following :

" Calls once more upon Israel, as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories;"

  • Article 27 from UN General Assembly stated that : " (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property"



Prepared by
 The Land Research Center

Categories: Military Orders