Israeli military activity in the Jordan Valley has increasingly targetted isolated and poor Bedouin communities in recent months, following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent public raising — again — of an Israeli claim to retain control, for security reasons, of the border area along the Jordan River and of large parts of the Jordan Valley, which constitutes a large part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Surprisingly, one gleaming new privately-owned Palestinian family agricultural enterprise in Jericho, a date palm farm and a separate packing factory not far from the Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley, has also been hit with sudden demolition orders for an essential new well it was digging, adjacent to an established well it has been using that was licensed and opened when the West Bank was under direct Jordanian rule in 1961.
Both of the wells are in danger of demolition, according to the orders issued in late July by the Israeli Defense Ministry’s “Civil Administration” in the West Bank.
This is a large-scale business venture, with real potential to advance development of the Palestinian agricultural sector — one of the motors of the future Palestinian economy.
Four thousand threatened date palm trees under cultivation are on the verge of producing fruit in the coming weeks.
But, if the water wells are destroyed, the date palm trees will soon die in the summer heat that sometimes reaches 50 degrees Centigrade.