***image4***Military camps erected in the Jordan Valley were responsible for the burning of almost 20 dunums of land on Tuesday the 6th of June. Crops were burnt from light flares used by Occupation Forces to search for a missing Soldier, later seen shooting indiscriminately in Al Aqaba before turning the gun on himself in the village mosque. Villagers were placed under curfew and fire crews barred from saving the crops.
The Occupation Soldier was discovered missing from the military camp stationed on the lands of Al Aqaba. Occupation Forces closed the whole area between Tobas, Tayaseer and Aqaba and set off a series of light flares. Thrown on to Palestinian fields, the flares set fire to fields in the east of Tobas in Ein Nun. The crops waiting to be harvested were destroyed, with firemen arriving at the scene barred entry to the area.
The fire destroyed a total of 15 dunums of land in Tobas and 4 dunums of land in Tayaseer. Given the isolation policy being implemented in the Jordan Valley since 2005, the planting and upkeep of the crops had taken considerable efforts by local Palestinians who depend upon agriculture for their livelihoods.
Later in the evening, the Occupation Soldier appeared in the village of al-Aqaba, shooting randomly in the streets and in the village mosque before committing suicide.
Occupation forces imposed a day of curfew on the village using this time to repair all damage and all signs of the event. Local people were intimidated not to talk to the local media.
It was reported that the mayor of the village asked the Soldiers what their response would have been had a similar act been carried out by a Palestinian. âWe would demolish the whole village over your heads!â was the response.
The event shows the realities Palestinians in the area face on a daily basis. Zionist military camps to the east and to the south of Al Aqaba have not only stolen the village lands but now engage in constant abuse of the community. People live in continuous fear from military âexercisesâ of the Occupation Forces which have injured some 50 villagers, some of them permanently scarred or disabled.