Know More About Palestine

Wednesday Aug. 18, 2010 7:58 PM (EST+7)
OPINION: Jordan Valley is a microcosm if Israel's colonisation

Read more: Ben White, Jordan Valley, colonisation, colonization, apartheid, Israeli policies, land annexation, demolitions, home demolition

RAMALLAH, Aug 18 (JMCC) - In his latest piece in the Guardian, Ben White, describes the ongoing process of Israeli colonisation in the Jordan Valley and why it is good example of Israeli policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians.

The Jordan Valley, stretching all the way down the West Bank's eastern side, is a microcosm of Israel's discriminatory policies of colonisation and displacement. For 40 years, settlements have been established, military no-go areas declared, and Palestinians' freedom of movement restricted. There are now 27 colonies  in the Jordan Valley – most of them had been established by the late 1970s under Labour governments. There are also nine unauthorised outposts. In the 1990s, the size of territory afforded to the settlements increased by 45%.

As we watch yet another bout of periodic, though tempered, enthusiasm about direct negotiations, Israel is doing as much as possible to determine the Bantustan borders – policies exemplified in the Jordan Valley, a substantial area of the West Bank almost isolated from the rest of the occupied territories. In 2006, B'Tselem noted how the Israeli military made a distinction between the 'territory of Judea and Samaria' (ie the West Bank) and 'the Jordan Valley', indicating that Israel does not view the two areas as a single territorial unit.

While there are areas of the West Bank that have witnessed the removal of some checkpoints, according to a senior UN official in June, it hasn't improved at all when it comes to moving towards the east and the Jordan Valley. Without a special permit, Palestinians who are not registered as Jordan Valley residents are prohibited from crossing the four key checkpoints controlling the area north of Jericho in their private vehicles.

The presence of the valley's Palestinians is a problem that Israel approaches with the tools of evacuation orders and bulldozers. Amnesty International, among others, has noticed an intensification of home demolitions and evictions, while B'Tselem sees the current wave as part of Israel's ongoing efforts to remove Bedouin Palestinians from the Jordan Valley. As Luisa Morgantini, former vice-president of the European parliament, put it recently, an area cleansed of its inhabitants today is more easily annexed tomorrow...

Read the full piece at the Guardian...






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