Settlements plunder Jericho and the Jordan Valley before annexation
- 54 Defa Okundu
Jericho governorate and the Jordan Valley are considered an important strategic territory, it makes up with Tubas’, the Palestinian Jordan Valley, it is characterized by its fertile lands, rich with underground and surface water resources and it provides profitable agriculture chances.
During the occupation of the West Bank, this territory was a target for the Israeli occupation and settlements; where a huge group of settlements and training camps for the Israeli occupation army has been built.
Since 1967, Israeli consecutive governments deemed the Jordan Valley as a vital area for the Israeli security and economy, these governments pursued multiple plans to Judaize the Jordan Valley, reflected in a group of procedures which aim to disconnect the area from its Jordanian borderlands with the depth of 5-1 Km; displacing thousands of Palestinian population away from their land, isolating and confiscating thousands of agricultural Dunums bordering Jordan, and what is known as the Green Line, these lands form the only owner of thousands of families, to establish agricultural and security settlements, at the same time restricting construction and redevelopment in all Jordan Valley villages, and definitely the acquisition of all underground and surface (Jordan river) water resources.
The number of established settlements on the Jericho and the Jordan Valley territories is 24 settlements, in addition to 7 outposts along with 19 military camps, bases, and Israeli army training areas. The majority of settlements in Jericho and the Jordan Valley are of military and agricultural nature, occupying a total area of (12092) dunums of Jericho and Jordan Valley lands and the number of settlers living in these settlements up to 2018 is about 10,000.
Jericho and the Jordan Valley axis and blocs
First axis: settlements parallel to the Jordan River
This axis include the following settlements: Argaman, Masu’a, Yafit, Petza'el, Tomer, Gilgal, Netiv HaGdud, Niran, Na'omi, Beit HaArava and Almog.
Second axis: Allon line backup settlements
This axis stretch over the mountains overviewing the Jordan Valley, in what is called “Backup settlements”, named after the settlements that backed up “Allon” project, this axis consist of four settlements: Ma’ale Efrayim, Yitav, Vered Yeriho and Mitzpe Yericho.
In 1999, and in an attempt to complete the settlement project in the Jordan Valley the first section of the wall bordering the Jordan Valley and the dead sea from the south up to the green line north, with a width of approximately 1-5 km was built, moreover, the second section of the wall, was built in 2003, and it goes along from the Jordan River to Metula town, south of Jenin governorate, to Isolate about 4000 Dunums.
The renewable water resources in Jericho and the Jordan Valley consist mainly of underground water, which is all located above the eastern basin aquifers in the West Bank, the amount of produced water according to 2010 statistics about 25 million cubic meters of water from the eastern basin through springs and wells located in Jericho and the Jordan valley.
According to the data above, Jericho and the Jordan Valley has been subjected to the policy of Judaization since 1967, and the ongoing settlements were and remain the greatest threat to the Palestinian existence in the Jordan Valley, this was before the annexation project was declared the beginning of this year, and this will remain for the future.
Abdullatif Khader / Palestinian lawyer specialized in occupation and wall of apartheid matter