Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel orders Jordan Valley farmers off their land

November 29, 2017 at 8:26 pm

A Palestinian man stands with the help of his baton near his demolished home in Jordan Valley in Tubas, West Bank on 7 November 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces this morning reportedly forced Palestinian farmers off lands they were working on in the Jordan Valley area of the Tubas district in the northern occupied West Bank, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.

Wafa reported that Israeli forces ordered a group of Palestinian farmers near the village of Sakout to stop working and leave their land immediately.

While it remained unclear why the farmers were suddenly ordered off their land, the Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 per cent of its land classified as Area C – under full Israeli military control.

Read: Israel refuses to return Palestinian land, handing it to settlers

Fifty-seven per cent of the land in the Jordan Valley has been declared closed military zones, also known as a “firing zones”, where Israeli army forces routinely train using live ammunition and explosive devices.

Nearly 20 per cent of the occupied West Bank has been declared “firing zones” since the 1970s, but according to the UN, some 80 per cent of these areas are not in fact used for military training. However, when military training does take place, Israeli forces families to leave their homes for hours or days at a time until the drill is over.