Israel Kills a Farmer’s Dream

JORDAN VALLEY, December 3, 2013 (WAFA) – Jamal Masaeed spent more than a decade working on reclaiming his land. He planted it with olive trees and surrounded it with a stonewall. But an Israeli military order killed his dream in just two hours.

Masaeed, who lives in the barren Jordan Valley, built his farm at the base of a mountain.

“I started my work here 10 years ago, cultivating olive trees and opening roads,” said Masaeed.

But on Tuesday morning, the Israeli army, accompanied by bulldozers, demolished his water tanks and other property in the Valley.

“They have been demolishing since early morning,” he said. “All the efforts I put into this farm all my life are now being destroyed overnight,” he said watching the bulldozers destroy his farm.

The Israeli military authority, which controls the Jordan Valley, does not allow Palestinian construction in that area, most of which is considered Area C as designated by the Oslo agreement.

“They never like to see anyone here but Israelis,” said Masaeed.

During 2013, the Israeli army demolished dozens of houses along the borders with Jordan.

Statistics show that demolitions have remarkably increased during the last few months. Many locales in the Jordan Valley have been evacuated and declared closed military areas. Many appeals submitted by the area residents have been rejected by the courts.

Masaeed has also received notifications to stop digging water wells.

“The Israelis came here about five months ago and told me to stop the construction,” he said. “They always have pretexts that we are in Area C.”

Israel also imposes strict restrictions on movement of Palestinians in the area for “security reasons.” They claim to use the area for military exercises.

Consequently, the Palestinians are not able to move between the “shooting ranges,” as named by Israel. The area is also full with military bases.

There are no concrete houses in the area; most houses are feeble to a point a strong wind or an army bulldozer could easily destroy them.

Masaeed laughs as he says he just bought a tractor to plow his land and build a farm, but the army brought two bulldozers to destroy his farm and his dream.