This morning Israeli troops forced homeowners in the Jordan Valley to demolish their homes, having issued 24 demolition notices to four families. The forces did not wait the 24 hours, but evicted the families, who live in the north of the Valley. The head of the local council in Wadi Al Maleh Aref Daraghmeh, a Bedouin, said that the four families lived in the Al Mayte area of the Al Maleh valley were added to a long list of families who have been displace or are under threat of displacement in the region.
The occupation forces have recently demolished a large number of houses and have prevented residents from entering their lands and from working in the Jordan Valley. In another related development, a large number of families were displaced under the pretext of the Occupation Forces beginning training maneuvers.
The situation in the Jordan Valley is critical as it is part of Area C, under full Israeli control, but it is seen as essential for the Palestinians. In addition to it constituting a third of the West Bank and it being the only point at which Palestinians can access the outside world, also contains around 47% of the ground water resources of Palestine, as well as housing some of the most fertile agricultural land in Palestine. Since agriculture is the backbone of Palestine’s economy and will continue to be in the future, access to this land is essential for continued Palestinian existence.
Displacements and demolitions are a daily occurrence in Area C. The forced displacements in the Jordan Valley reflect the overall policy of Israel towards Area C, which amounts to ethnic cleansing, such that Palestinians become dependent on Israel for water and other necessities, as well as meaning the strangulation of the Palestinian agricultural sector.