Settlements are expanding in the Jordan Valley at an amazing speed. All along the Jordan Valley, colonizers are grabbing land and cementing the dispossession of the Palestinian people on the ground.
A week ago, colonizers from Rotem settlement, east of Wadi al-Maleh, began putting fences around and isolating 350 dunums of land they stole last year from 7 different farmers of the Wadi. The land was cultivated with wild beans (hummus), but when the Zionist colonizers took it over, they beat any farmer, worker or shepherd who attempted to reach the crops. This fence acts not only to secure the 350 dunums previously stolen, but also to isolate the Palestinians from a further 1000 dunums of their land on the other side of the fence..
Local residents fear that more land is currently destroyed by the colonizers through the deliberate deposition of toxic materials. Farmers saw the settlers working in Rotem wearing biological security outfits, and no person was allowed to approach the area. Because the settlement hosts various industries, Wadi al-Maleh residents suspect that the colonizers are dumping toxic waste at the outskirts of the land usurped for their settlement.
Only a few kilometers north and just south of Tall Himma, the Occupation works to expand the settlement outpost Saleât. Approximately 10 housing units have already been constructed, and bulldozers continue working to expand the colony even further, cementing the Occupation on the ground. To the South, in the region of Sahel Libqeyeh, the Beqaâot settlement is expanding. Big stones normally used as a foundation for settler caravans have been brought to Beqaâot and Occupation bulldozers are working within this settlement also.
The colonization of Jordan Valley is thus continuously increasing with settlement expansion and land grabs a daily reality all over the area. The simultaneous isolation of the Valley is a reality that makes life, work and trade in the area almost impossible. The main checkpoints of Tayasser and al Hamra, linking Jordan Valley with the rest of the West Bank are again for the past three days nearly impenetrable except in the most urgent circumstances.