By: Madeeha Araj/ NBPRS/
The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements stated in its latest weekly report , that the days before leaving to Lisbon to meet the American Secretary of State, Pompeo, the Israeli Occupation Prime Minister, Netanyahu reiterated his statements on imposing “Israeli sovereignty” on the Jordan Valley, and the northern Dead Sea making use of the American political support, and to discuss with him other issues, including an American recognition of the annexation of the Jordan Valley in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Moreover, Netanyahu added that his entity “has the full right” to annex the Jordan Valley and other parts of the occupied West Bank.
During his campaign for the Knesset’s elections that took place in Sep. 17, 2019, Netanyahu has obviously announced he would impose Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea in the West Bank, if he is re-elected. Worth mentioning that the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea are a large area with an area of 24% of the area of the West Bank. Knowing that there are 37 settlements and outposts in the Jordan Valley, which control 12% of it, where about 9,500 Israeli settlers live.
According to reports issued by the Council of Settlements, Israel earns from the Jordan Valley settlements about US $ 650 – 750 million annually i.e. more than what it gains from all the exports of the Palestinian Authority to the Israeli occupation state. By depriving the Palestinians of controlling and investing in this region, Israel is directing a severe blow to the Palestinian economy, especially since the Jordan Valley is considered the key to sustainable development of the national economy, which is the food basket of Palestine, but is completely emptied by the occupation. According to multiple reports, including the World Bank, the Palestinians’ loss as a result of preventing them from accessing their legitimate resources in the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea amounted to $ 3.4 billion annually, besides depriving the Palestinian Authority of thousands of jobs as well. Within the context, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, finally expressed her concern about the Israeli government’s plans to annex the Jordan Valley.
Violating the Palestinian citizen’s rights under Israeli occupation, and in a clear challenge to the EU and the international community, Minister of the Israeli Occupation Army, Bennet pledged to launch an unprecedented campaign of demolition of Palestinian buildings located in Area C in the occupied West Bank under the pretext of not having required licenses. Bennet also met last week, EU ambassadors in Israel, he informed them that there is an intention to demolish all the buildings under full Israeli security control even if they are funded by them. Furthermore, Bennett decided to establish a new settlement neighborhood in the wholesale market “Al-Hasba” in the old city of Hebron, owned by the Hebron Municipality, Islamic Waqf and the people.
Within a different context, the occupation municipality in Jerusalem pays NIS 5 million every year to the “Amana Association,” which builds settlement outposts, including the rent of its office with an amount of NIS 913,000 in 2018, and an amount of NIS 930,000 this year. It should be noted that the Israeli government the Israeli government, during its last meeting, removed a clause regarding legal supervision of the decision to transfer 40 million shekels to the settlements in the West Bank. The cause for concern is that the public funds are transferred to illegal outposts. The clause was deleted at the request of Minister of the Environment and Jerusalem, Zeev Elkin who claimed that the goal of removing it is to avoid showing discrimination in comparison with other similar decisions. The Israeli government approved the transfer of NIS 40 million to settlements in the West Bank in order to enhance security.