Saturday, November 09, 2013

Jordan Valley Wall

Probably intending to create new facts on the ground that will prevent the emergence of a substantial Palestinian state, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the planned construction of a wall in the Jordan Valley:
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his plans to construct a barrier along the Jordanian border, according to the Israeli daily Maariv. The wall will be built upon completion of the ones along the Egyptian and Syrian borders and will pass through the Jordan Valley, closing off the West Bank from Jordan.
Netanyahu declared that the wall is intended to protect Israeli settlers in the West Bank against Syrian refugees who could come in through Jordan and “invade” the settlements. However, so far no attempt of Syrian refugees to enter Israel through Jordan is known. Therefore, analysts suggest that the move is meant to tighten Israel’s grip on the Jordan Valley during the current peace negotiations.
As the question of sovereignty in the Jordan Valley is proving to be a major obstacle in the ongoing peace negotiations, Maariv's report points out that Netanyahu’s timing on the announcement of his plan may not be a coincidence. Israel refuses to renounce military control over the Jordan Valley, while the Palestinian Authority demands that only Palestinian forces be deployed in the area in case a Two-State Solution is reached...
In addition to its announced construction plans for a wall, Israel has recently carried out a large amount of home demolitions in the Jordan Valley over the last years under the pretence that the Palestinian villages are located in a closed military zone. In 2011, the Israeli military destroyed over 200 Palestinian-owned structures in the area, accordingto OCHA. Israeli settlements in the same area, on the other hand, have been allowed to flourish. Of the 250,000 Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley before the 1967 occupation, only 65,000 remain today, the Israeli Committee on Home Demolitions (ICAHD) states.
Such a wall would also certainly leave a Palestinian state economically dependent on Israel, a captive market full of cheap labor whose alternative import and export routes would all be under Israeli control.

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