Unconditionally backed by the Trump administration through the so-called the Deal of the Century, the Israeli government announced its intent to de jure annex the Jordan Valley on July 1st, 2020 and make it an integral part of the state of Israel. Although the Israeli government declared later that the de jure annexation of the Jordan Valley is delayed, on the ground, long-standing de facto annexation has intensified.
The settlement expansion in areas overlooking the Jordan Valley like the hilly parts of the villages of Beita and Beit Dajan, along with Jewish-only bypass roads that directly connect to Israel are only part of Israeli plans to annex the Jordan Valley.
This coincides with an escalated ethnic cleansing campaign of Palestinian Bedouin communities living in the Jordan Valley.
Khirbet Humsa is currently one of the villages under constant attack and pressure of expulsion.
Khirbet Humsa Al-Fawqa
On July 7th, 2021, heavily armed Israeli forces and bulldozers raided the Palestinian Bedouin community of Humsa in the Northern Jordan Valley. The occupation forces confiscated the residents’ property, including their residential tents, furniture and clothing.
On that day, the Israeli occupation attempted to remove the residents of Humsa, about 130 people, by force. This was thwarted by the UN OCHA officials who were in the community when the occupation forces savagely stormed it.
The few water tanks left for the community were also confiscated in the latest attack. Most of the tanks had already been taken in previous raids as Israel intensified its water apartheid practices against Humsa to drive them off their lands.
To ensure that the residents leave the community, the Israeli occupation forces besieged it and prevented any kind of aid from entering Humsa, including water. Even the Palestine Red Crescent, the national affiliate of the Red Cross, was banned from entering Humsa and providing support to its residents.
Abu Saqr, a community leader from the neighboring Bedouin community of Al-Hadidya narrated that:
“We tried to help our neighbors [residents of Humsa] as it is unbelievable to leave them homeless without food and water. My son could hardly smuggle only a few bottles of water… it breaks my heart to imagine that the children in Humsa are thirsty unable to get a drop of water to drink.”
Besieged for days without water, homes and food for themselves and for their livestock, the residents of Humsa were forced out of their community.
Yet, they refused to leave the Jordan Valley and chose to relocate in an area a few kilometers away from the previous site of the community and adjacent to the Bedouin community of Al-Hadidya.
This does not mean that Humsa residents will no longer be subject to Israeli ethnic cleansing practices as Al-Hadidya and its surrounding area are also targeted by Israel’s settlement expansion plans. They will not have unlimited and free access to the water resources in the area as all the Bedouin communities living in the Jordan Valley are denied connection to the water grid that provides looted Palestinian water to the illegal Jewish settlers inhabiting the built settlements there.
Yet, the residents of Humsa and other Bedouin communities continue to exist in the Jordan Valley against all odds. Neither Israeli water apartheid practices nor home demolition are able to break Palestinian sumoud [steadfastness] there.
Before the latest violent raid of Humsa in July, the Israeli occupation repeatedly stormed the community and demolished it.