The Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation Executive Committee said on Monday that Israel's occupation has stolen 90 per cent of the Jordan Valley, Felesteen.ps has reported. Saeb Erekat made his comment during a press conference after a tour organised jointly by the Palestinian Ministry of Information and the PLO's refugee department in the area.
"The biggest danger regarding the Jordan Valley and Israeli settlement is Israel's attempt to extend its sovereignty over the Valley under security pretexts that are aimed at tightening restrictions on the Palestinians," said the veteran PLO official. He pointed out that the occupation state has taken an estimated $450m worth of property stolen from local Palestinian residents.
Erekat accused Israel of reinforcing its illegal settlements in the Jordan Valley and stealing Palestinian-owned water sources in partnership with international companies. He also called for the UN Human Rights Council to produce a database related to Israeli control of the Jordan Valley "regardless of the amount of US pressure not to do so."
The Jordan Valley is about 1.6 million dunams (1,600 km2) in area, and constitutes around 30 per cent of the total occupied West Bank. According to a previous government report, the Valley includes about 280,000 dunams of arable land, 50,000 of which are still used by Palestinians and 27,000 by illegal Jewish settlers.