Palestinians stand up against expulsion from Jordan Valley
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Palestinians stand up against expulsion from Jordan Valley

***image2***The popular committee of the Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign – in coordination with Palestinian NGOs – mobilized this week holding a protest at Bardala terminal in the north of the Jordan Valley. The northern Jordan Valley is closed to all Palestinian “non-residents”. Bardala terminal which the farmers use to sell their crops to the 1948 areas has been closed since last October. Moreover, Palestinian expulsion of the Jordan Valley has begun in order to annex it to the Occupation. Channeling their anger of the Zionist campaign to cleanse Palestinians from their lands, the demonstrators refused to end their resistance to the Occupation.

In the attempt to impede the protest, Occupation Forces closed the area and put up numerous checkpoints to isolate the area. Hundreds who came to participate in the protest were barred from reaching the gathering place. However, a considerable crowd succeeded to reach the protest that marched to the terminal. Speeches were held denouncing the Occupation policies to completely isolate the Jordan Valley from the West Bank and the farmers living in the villages east of Valley from accessing their lands in the Jordan Valley. When the crowd approached the terminal, Occupation Soldiers tried to halt them and attacked the protestors with sticks. The farmers resisted and continued their protest until the closing of the speeches.

As retaliation, and to further intimidate Palestinian communities, the Occupation sent their bulldozers the following day to attack Bardala. At 5:30 am the Occupation Forces started to demolish all shelters the farmers use to sell their crops along the road 90 that leads from Mehole settlement to the terminal. The bulldozers crushed 16 shops in total. To further ensure that the livelihoods of the farmers were jeopardized, the Occupation Forces cut the water pipe that irrigates the farms in Bardala area. Cutting and taking out 6 inches from the pipe threatens to halt the water supply for several days.

The destruction comes as part of a larger plan to ensure complete control and colonization in the Jordan Valley. Occupation bulldozers are currently operating to expand Seleet settlement, building the infrastructure for new housing units. In the area of Shwe’r – an area along the Jordan River in the northern part of the Valley – the Occupation has declared a military zone to prevent Palestinian access. Zionist construction equipment has begun to prepare the soil for agriculture for new settlers who are arriving to take over the land.

On the Western side of the Valley, Occupation jeeps with engineering staff scanned the area of North Tubas. The farmers believe this will be a first step in building the eastern part of the Apartheid Wall that will connect with the Wall in Bardala and Ein al Beida villages.