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Jordanian farmers threaten to sue Israeli government over border fires

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Farmers in Jordan have hinted that they may escalate their protests against frequent fires started in occupied Palestinian territory and sue the Israeli government, which they hold responsible for the blazes.

The farmers appealed to the Jordanian government to take a firm stand against the fires started in the Jordan Valley area. Amman, they say, should demand that Tel Aviv should pay compensation to the farmers for the losses they have suffered.

The move comes in the wake of a massive fire that broke out on Wednesday evening in the border Mansheya area. The Jordanian civil defence force confirmed that the fire spread from the Israeli-held side of the River Jordan.

Informed agriculture sources told the Jordanian newspaper Alghad that most of the fires that had broken out during the past years along the border started as a result of military exercises by the Israeli army under the pretext of “security concerns”. These include the detonation of bombs used to destroy landmines.

Official estimates by the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture claim that the total cost of such fires since 2004 stands at just over 43,000 Jordanian Dinars (around £43,000). That is the material cost, but the farmers claim that there is a serious psychological impact as well. They also allege that Amman hasn’t included the cost of damage caused to citrus trees by a massive fire in 2011 which destroyed around 60 acres on Tel El-Arba’een Hill.