JORDAN VALLEY, September 16, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli army Wednesday notified local Palestinian Bedouins in Khirbet Um al-Jamal, a small Bedouin locality in the northern Jordan Valley, of their intent to confiscate Palestinian locals’ agricultural belongings, if they refuse to evacuate the area, according to local sources.
Aref Daraghmeh, head of the al-Maleh local council, Israeli Civil Administration personnel accompanied by a military escort broke into the village, and notified the locals that all agricultural structures, including tractors and machines, will be confiscated unless the village locals evacuate the area.
Today’s incident is the second of its kind in the village in less than 10 months. On 30 January 2014, Civil Administrative officials arrived with a military escort at Khirbet Um al-Jamal and proceeded to demolish all of the structures there, namely 16 tents and 12 sheep pens, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
Immediately after the demolition, the residents attempted to rebuild what was left of their tents and sheep pens, but soldiers on site did not allow them to do so. The military also prevented Palestinian Authority officials of Tubas District from sending humanitarian aid and tents to the community, yet it allowed PA officials to send only thick plastic sheeting to cover the locals belongings.
After being obliged to spend the next two nights out in the open, without any shelter, the locals managed to erect ten temporary tents, using materials salvaged from the wreckage.
“This policy is aimed at removing the Palestinian population from the Jordan Valley, including for the purpose of establishing Israeli control of the area and annexing it de facto to Israel, while exploiting the land’s resources and minimizing Palestinian presence there,” says B’Tselem.
“In the long term, this policy is intended to ensure Israeli presence in the area, even within the framework of a diplomatic agreement,” said the center.
Israel is planning to annex the Jordan Valley into a completely Israeli area, primarily in agriculture, targeting to ban territorial contiguity between a future Palestinian state and the rest of the Arab world.