Tag

Jordan Valley

Browsing

As part of COVID-19 series in Palestine, Yumna Patel traveled to the Jordan Valley to see what life is like for Palestinians there as they fight two battles: one against the coronavirus, and one against annexation. “In this area, the occupation is even worse for us than the coronavirus pandemic. The occupation has taken advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to take over more land in the Jordan Valley,” Motaz Bisharat, a Palestinian activist based in the northern Jordan Valley tells Mondoweiss.

Israeli troops clash with the Palestinian demonstrators in the Jordan Valley during a protest against Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank, June 24, 2020. (Photo: Shadi Jarar'ah/APA Images)

As annexation day approaches, Palestinians on the ground are gearing up for a new reality, one they say they’ve been forced to get ready for for years. Zayd Sawafta, a farmer and mayor of the small village of Bardala, tells Mondoweiss that even when annexation does go through, Palestinians aren’t leaving. “We have learned from experience,” Sawafta says. “They will do everything they can to kick us off this land and take it for themselves, but this time, we are not leaving.”

“As the whole world battles an unprecedented and paralyzing healthcare crisis, Israel’s military is devoting time and resources to harassing the most vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank that Israel has attempted to drive out for decades. Shutting down a first-aid community initiative during a health crisis is an especially cruel example of the regular abuse inflicted on these communities.” –B’Tselem reports on the destruction of a field clinic in Khirbet Ibziq in the occupied Jordan Valley.

An Israeli army jeep crisscrosses the Jordan Valley, on daily patrol in the area. (Photo: Antony Loewenstein)

With the topic of this year’s Israeli election focused heavily on annexation, the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in Area C — the more than 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli control — are hanging in the balance. Mondoweiss spoke to three Palestinians living in areas of the West Bank– in close proximity to settlements, Area C, and the Jordan Valley — that would likely be the first ones affected if Netanyahu sees his plans through.

Bad pay, hard labor, nasty skin rashes, and poor sleep in constructions sites are just the tip of work conditions found in Israeli agricultural settlements, said a Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report released Monday. The 75-page “Israel: Settlement Agriculture Harms Palestinian Children” is a devastating look into underage Palestinian laborers farming for Israeli companies.