Palestine: Israel to seize Palestinian land in Jordan Valley region

28th Nov 2018
Palestine: Israel to seize Palestinian land in Jordan Valley region

By Anees Suheil Barghouti

 

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA): The Israeli authorities on Tuesday issued confiscation notices for hundreds of dunums of church-owned land in the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank.

(An Ottoman-era unit of land measurement, one dunum is roughly equivalent to 1,000 square meters.)

Mutaz Bisharat, a Palestinian Authority (PA) official, told Anadolu Agency that the authorities had issued notices for 267 dunums of land in the region’s Al-Tayaseer and Al-Bardala districts.

According to Bisharat, the planned land confiscations will threaten the livelihoods of dozens of Palestinian families in the affected areas.

The Latin Church (an eastern component of the Roman Catholic Church), which owns most of the targeted land, has yet to comment on the confiscation orders.

The PA’s Muslim-Christian committee, meanwhile, has condemned the confiscation orders as “flagrant violations of international humanitarian law”.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces delivered demolition notices, on Monday evening, to three Palestinian homes and a shed in al-Khalidiya area, southeast of Yatta City, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.

About 70,000 Palestinians — along with some 9,500 Jewish settlers — currently live in the Jordan Valley, a large, fertile strip of land that accounts for roughly one quarter of West Bank land.

Under the 1993 Oslo agreement between Israel and the PA, the West Bank was divided into Areas A, B and C.

Area A falls under the PA’s administrative and security control; Area B falls under the PA’s administrative control and Israel’s security control; and Area C — which includes the Jordan Valley — falls under the exclusive administrative and security control of Israel.

Israel sees the Jordan Valley as vital to its security and has voiced its refusal to relinquish the land in any future settlement with the Palestinians.

[Map of Palestine. Creative Commons/Public Domain to use]

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