Israel’s Colonisation of the Jordan Valley and the Security Myth

November 6, 2013 – Middle East Monitor

The targeting of Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley for expulsion and home demolitions is sadly commonplace, with periodic bursts of evictions and destruction – such as one “wave” in summer 2010 that targeted villages pre-dating the 1967 occupation (thus paralleling the ‘legal’ façade given to the destruction of Bedouin homes in the Negev). Israeli soldiers and bulldozers attack Palestinian shepherds and families, with occupation forces even demolishing emergency shelter thrown up to help newly-homeless villagers by aid workers.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley continue to flourish, part of what was described already in 2006 as “de facto annexation“, and where settlement councils play a role in making sure that “in almost the entirety of the Jordan Valley, Palestinian construction is prohibited“. Using different methods, “out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter”.

As the PA pointed out in response to Netanyahu’s recent remarks, Israel makes hundreds of millions of dollars from the settlements in the Jordan Valley, with 40% of Israeli dates exported to the European Union grown in the area’s colonies. While settlers even farm private Palestinian land, Palestinians – including children – are exploited as cheap labour.