Israel targets the Northern Jordan Valley in favor of settlements

 By: Madeeha Al-A’raj/ NBPRS/

The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements (NBPRS) stated in its latest weekly report , that since the beginning of this year, the Palestinian people witness the crushing of their properties, such as, houses, facilities and uprooting thousands of forest and fruitful trees by the Israeli Army, which very recently destroyed the Einun Natural Reserve in Tubas Governorate, and uprooted at least 10,000 trees including 300 olive trees that were planted 8 years ago as part of the Greening Palestine project supervised by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture and funded by the Brazilian Consulate in Palestine, financed by the Brazilian Consulate, on about 400 dunums area, in a move that the Palestinians termed as a “crime”. Not only that but they also sprayed the area with pesticides, fearing that it would grow up again, in order to use the area as a military training field, and then be transferred for the benefits of settlement.

The Einoun Reserve was not the first to be targeted. Naftali Bennit, the former Occupation Army Minister declared last year that 7 sites in the West Bank as new nature reserves, and the expansion of 12 others. He also instructed  the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank to act according to the needs of settlement projects and plans, which covered the Sorek Cave, near the village of Beit Surik, Wadi Al-Maqlak near the Jabal Al-Zaytoon in Jerusalem, Wadi Malha in the Jordan Valley, the southern Jordan River, Wadi Al-Far’a and the southern reserves East Nablus, Jabal Ghadir, east of Tubas in the Jordan Valley, and Qumran in the Jericho area, which resulted in the confiscation of tens of thousands of dunams of what was left of Area C. knowing that the occupation authorities has controlled 26 sites in the Jordan Valley in 2011, and declared them natural reserves that constitute about 20% of the Jordan Valley’s area.

Within the contest, the Aterit Cohanem Association is planning to transfer the 500m2.mansion house, called Qasr al Mufti’s Palace “the Palace of Haj Ameen Husseini to become a synagogue, and to double the number of settlement units there up to 56 units, knowing that the mansion is located on 5.2-donam site in the Sheikh Jarrah between the Old City and Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.

In Salfit, the Israeli authorities notified a number of residents of the town of Deir Istiya, northwest of Salfit to confiscate hundreds of dunams of their lands adjacent to the settlements of “Amnauel and Qarni Shomron” in the Wadi Qana area in order to expand them. Mayor of Deir Istiya, Saeed Zaidan, was notified 2 days ago of the confiscation of about 600 dunums of Deir Istia’s lands, of which 350 dunums were in favor of expanding an industrial zone in the Amunail settlement, and 250 dunums in favor of establishing settlement housing units in the Qarni Shimron settlement, and the residents were given a two-month period to object that. Furthermore, the Israeli occupation announced that these lands will be turned from agricultural into industrial, residential, commercial and public facilities.

During this month, the Israeli forces has also announced 5 more plans to build 2,400 settlement units in the settlements of Qarni Shomron and Alfih Menashe in addition to expanding the industrial zone in the settlement of Emmanuel, which will devour confiscate lands of the town of Deir Istia, and about 50 dunums from 5 villages and towns in the Salfit Governorate.

In Bethlehem, they bulldozed lands in the village of Al-Ma’sara near the “Migdal Oz” settlement, which lies on the lands of the town of Beit Fajjar. Dozens of settlers plowed tens of dunams east of Bethlehem and in the eastern desert in the areas of Khallet Al-Batma and Shaab Al-Lasaf areas under strict Israeli protection in preparation for seizing them. At the same time, the Israeli forces uprooted dozens of more than 10 years old fruitful olive trees, and bulldozed areas of citizens’ land as well as demolished retaining walls in the Khallat Al-Nahlah area near the village of Wadi Rahal, knowing that the area is targeted for the expansion the Efrat settlement.

In a new report issued by the Israeli Human Rights Organization, B’Tselem that was released last Thursday, stated that settlers violence against the Palestinians is increased as they have full support and protection of the Israeli occupation soldiers. They do not prevent their attacks or hold them responsible. It can be said that the State of Israel oppresses, suppresses, and reaps the livelihoods of the Palestinians and hands them to the Jews. That’s exactly how the Jewish supremacy system looks.