Days of Palestine

Sunday, January 29

Israel steals cattle, water tanks in Jordan Valley

Days of Palestine -

Israeli occupation stole on Tuesday Palestinians’ cattle, water tanks in remote Jordan Valley village, east of northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus. Aref Daraghmeh, who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the area, said that staff from the Israeli Civil Administration accompanied by Israeli occupation forces stole a number of cows belonging to one of his relatives in the village of Um al-Ubor in the eastern outskirts of Jordan Valley. The Israeli occupation forces also stole dozens of water tanks, which “are badly needed for the local community who live on farming and herding.”

A spokesperson for COGAT, the office in charge of the Israeli civil administration unit in the occupied Palestinian territory, said that the “cow owners entered the military firing zone with them without obtaining the required permits while exposing themselves to life threatening danger.” Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 per cent of its land classified as Area C –under full Israeli military control. Demolition of Palestinian infrastructure and residences, as well as stealing Palestinian property occur frequently in Area C, with the Jordan Valley’s Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies. The incident came days after Israeli forces confiscated Palestinian-owned agricultural machinery in the northern Jordan Valley region. COGAT said the vehicles "were found illegally in the fire zone 901. Staying in a fire zone poses a significant and illegal life risk." Rights groups have said that Israeli military training zones, known as a "firing zones," are used as a pretext to fully annex portions of the occupied West Bank. Nearly 20 per cent of the occupied West Bank has been declared "firing zones" since the 1970s, but according to the UN, some 80 percent of these areas are not in fact used for military training. However, when military training does take place, Israel forces families to leave their homes for hours or days at a time until the drill is over.