Ethnic Cleansing in Jordan Valley Village
|What is affected||
|Type of violation||
|Date||27 August 2007|
|Region||MENA [ Middle East/North Africa ]|
|- Number of homes||74|
|- Total value €|
Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)
The Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), a thematic group of Habitat International Coalition (HIC) Members, has received information from local organizations, including Stop the Wall Coalition, about consistently increasing housing and land rights violations in the Jordan Valley. The disturbing news requires your URGENT ACTION. Brief descriptionrnSince the start of the summer of 2007, the Israeli government has stepped up its efforts to cleanse the Jordan Valley of its indigenous Palestinian inhabitants, most recently adding the Bedouin villages of al-Hadidiya and Humsa to a long list of towns to be eliminated. (See previous HLRN Urgent Action on the Jordan Valley.
Between 09:00 and 10:00 AM on 14 August 2007, the Israeli government began its destruction of al-Hadidiya with the demolition of two homes, belonging to `Abdullah Hafiz Yusuf Bani `Udah and `Abdullah Husain Bisharat, including their animal enclosures. The residents were given only 5 minuts to collect their belongings. Five days later, Government forces returned and destroyed four more homes and two water tanks, the only source of water for the village’s residents.
Two weeks later, at 8:00 AM on 23 August 2007, ten military jeeps and a bulldozer razed al-Hadidiya, leaving its residents, including children, without shelter from the scorching August sun. In addition to leaving the residents homeless, Israeli authorities sought to force villagers away from their native lands by confiscating portable water tanks, the only source of water for many residents. Villagers who have been the most outspoken about the Israeli Government’s illegal actions have been the most brutalized in the recent cycle of the cleansing campaign.
For their part, the Israeli occupation authorities in the Jordan Valley have stated that the residents of al-Hadidiya and Humsa were living in a “closed military” zone and, as such, needed to be removed for their “own safety.” This is in contradiction to the fact that the illegal Jewish settler colony of Roi, which occupies part of al-Hadidiya’s lands, and, therefore, also is within the alleged ’military zone’ remains intact and untouched. The expulsion of the villagers of al-Hadidiya and Humsa will add nearly 200 more to the six million Palestinian refugees already driven from their lands.
The Israeli governement has stepped up the pressure on the villagers since the start of 2007, yet, Israel policies aimed at the annexation of the Jordan Valley and the expulsion of its Palestinian population commenced immediately after the start of the Occupation of the West Bank in 1967.
Parts of the Libqa’a plains, where al-Hadidiya and Humsa are located, were declared military closed zones or military training areas, others were swallowed by settlement construction. The cycles of ethnic cleansing currently taking place in the Jordan Valley are part of the concerted efforts of the PM Ehud Olmert Government to illegally to expand Israel’s territories and Judaize the land by forcibly maintaining a Jewish majority.
In a television interview with PM Olmert recorded on 7 February 2006, he announced his plans unilaterally to draw final borders for Israel, which includes the complete annexation of the Jordan valley so as to leave any future Palestinian state in the West Bank completely surrounded by Israel and without direct link to any of its Arab neighbours.
Then Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz supported Olmert’s goal, announcing that: If we won’t be able to reach agreed-upon borders, we will operate in a different way, which it is not appropriate to detail now ... we don’t need to wait for someone else to impose our fate. In the coming years, and I’m talking about a few years, the final borders of the state of Israel will be set down, and the future of most of the settlements in [the West Bank] and the Jordan Valley will be decided in these two years.