ISRAEL THREATENS TO DISPLACE PALESTINIANS OF JORDAN VALLEY

JERICHO (PALESTINE), Nov 23 (NNN-WAFA) — Israeli authorities notified local Palestinians in central Jordan Valley of demolishing orders of animal barns, and threatened to evict them from the area, said local sources.

WAFA correspondent said the Israeli army notified local Palestinians in the village of Fasayel, north of Jericho, and in the nearby al-Mu’arrajat area about their intention to demolish the animal barns.

Meanwhile, several families from Fasayel told WAFA they had been warned by Israeli army officers that the Israeli military will continue to demolish structures, mainly built with tinplate and other rudimentary objects, in the village in what seems to be a plan to empty the area of its original communities.

The Jordan Valley, a sparsely populated area, is part of Area C of the West Bank, under complete Israeli control, where Israel rarely issues construction permits for Palestinians, prompting them to embark on construction without the legal construction permits.

The Israeli army and police have repeatedly vandalised residencies in the Jordan valley under the pretext of construction without permission.

According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Israel has pursued various measures to annex this territory de facto. “It has prevented the development of Palestinian communities, systematically destroyed homes in Palestinian Bedouin communities, and denied access to water and strictly limited Palestinians’ freedom of movement.”

Israel has heavily invested in transferring the Jordan Valley into a completely Israeli area, primarily in agriculture, to ban territorial contiguity between a future Palestinian state and the rest of the Arab world.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA said Israel demolished 390 Palestinian-owned structures in the Jordan valley in 2013, up from 172 the year before. Some 590 Palestinians were displaced last year, compared to 279 in 2012.

“Israel destroyed 590 Palestinian buildings in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2014, displacing 1,177 people,” according to a new study by OCHA.

It said that in three days, from Jan 20 to 22 2014, 77 Palestinians, over half of whom were children, became homeless as a result to these demolitions.

It said that, “Israel’s extrajudicial demolitions continue into 2015. In January alone, Israel destroyed 77 buildings belonging to Palestinians in the West Bank, leaving 110 people, roughly half of whom were children, homeless in the cold of the winter.”

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator James Rawley argued the demolitions violate international law. “Demolitions that result in forced evictions and displacement run counter to Israel’s obligations under international law and create unnecessary suffering and tension,” he said. “They must stop immediately.”

OCHA wrote in an official statement that, “The planning policies applied by Israel in Area C and East Jerusalem discriminate against Palestinians, making it extremely difficult for them to obtain building permits.”

“As a result, many Palestinians build without permits to meet their housing needs and risk having their structures demolished. Palestinians must have the opportunity to participate in a fair and equitable planning system that ensures their needs are met,” it added. — NNN-WAFA