The Annexation of the Jordan Valley… is the loss of a key element of the Palestinian State

The Annexation of the Jordan Valley… is the loss of a key element of the Palestinian State

 

The Jordan Valley is located at the east side of the West Bank territory. It is spread across 841 km square (14.9% of the West Bank total area), starting at the northern tip of the Dead Sea from Jericho and continues northeastern edge of the West Bank at Tubas), accommodating 23 Palestinian communities (population 65+ thousand) and bearing the incursion of 27 Israeli settlements (population 13+ thousand). The Palestinian communities have long withstood the Israeli occupation measures to clear out the Jordan valley since 1967. Israel considers itself as the natural inheritor of all what is identified as “State Land” and most of which overlaps with what Israel categorized as “closed military areas”, “settlement areas”, “military bases”, “nature reserves”, among other classifications, all of which intended to consolidate Israel’s control of that strategic area.

The Israeli occupation notion to annex the Jordan valley area has been on the agenda of all Israeli political parties and of that every Israeli politician, which makes it an issue of concession in the political agenda of Israel.

In fact, when the former president of the United States “Trump” proposed his vision for a solution, he kept the area under Israeli control. Still, no official Israeli party is willing to give up the area under which, any possible future agreement with the Palestinians.

Classifications of the Jordan Valley area 

To fortify its grip over the Jordan Valley,

Israel expanded and fortified its grip over the area when it started to produce plans to increase the settlement’s population, as it certainly wants to double the settler population there. To such end:

  • In 2020, Israel added/ reclassified some 112 km square of the land to the nature reserves category,
  • expansion in 14 settlements with an excess plans to construct 120 housing units,
  • enhance bypass roads to facilitate settler movement:
    • bypass road 90,
    • bypass road 505,
    • bypass road 1
  • possible plans to combine settlements jurisdiction to create larger blocs: (Shadmot Mehola, Rotem, Bitronot, Maskiyot) and (Bqa’ot, Roi, Hemdat)
  • On 18 May 2020, Israeli Authorities advanced plan No.  יוש/ 1633/ 57 to construct an effluent (liquid sewage) treatment facility flowing in Wadi Al Nar “Kidron River”, prior to its transfer through a pipe, to the effluent reservoirs in the Jordan Valley. The proposed reservoir has a capacity of approximately 500,000 cubic meters. 

This will pave the way to increase of infrastructure budgets; including upgrade and construct new bypass roads, increase housing construction and incentive budget to attract more settlers, in addition to commercial and agro-industrial parks.

If anything, Israel seems committed to their intention not to withdraw from the Jordan valley or at least the greater part of it.

However, the economic potential of the Jordan Valley is another factor that makes the Jordan valley an attractive take for the Israeli occupation; but nonetheless an indispensable factor for a future independent-viable Palestinian State.

Under the second Oslo Accord signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation organization (PLO) in September 1995 the Jordan valley area was dominantly (91.6%) classified as Area “C” where the Israelis occupation retains absolute control in terms of security and administrative issues related to the land and natural resources. The Palestinian Authority became in control (security and administration) of 7.95% of the remaining area, while just a mere 0.46 were classified as Area “B” where the Palestinian Authority enjoyed only and administrative control of the area.

Jordan Valley classification according to the Second Oslo Accord of 1995

Area Classification

Area in km square

Area in Percentage

Area “A”

67

7.95

Area “B”

3.8

0.46

Area “C”

770.2

91.59

Total

841

100

GIS Department, ARIJ – 2021

                                                             

Prepared by:  
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Israeli Plans