Land grab and colonisation
Israel’s justification for occupying the Jordan Valley has always been security purposes. Thus, consecutive Israeli governments have implemented plans that will grant complete control of the area. Through such policies and acts, Israel continues efforts to eliminate the Palestinian presence in the Jordan Valley and isolate it from the West Bank in order to create facts on the ground before executing a unilateral plan that will exclude the region from the West Bank.
The Israeli Cabinet adopted a project to encourage young Israeli couples to settle in the Jordan Valley, including promises and plans to develop the agricultural and tourism levels in the area and to confiscate more Palestinian land for settlement expansion. Israel has also tried to by-pass the 2004 advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice, which declared the construction of the Wall in the West Bank illegal, by implementing a series of procedures that guarantee eventual completion of its previous development and settlement plans. In other words, by surrounding the Jordan Valley with checkpoints, closures and roadblocks and confiscating more land for settlements and military bases, Israel is securing segregation to be a fact on the ground. These occupation policies place Palestinians under siege in cantons. The following table shows the distribution of Jordan Valley land according to the Oslo Agreement:
Although Palestinians can still cultivate any land remaining after Israeli confiscation and colonization, Israel prohibits Palestinians from constructing any infrastructure or other development projects, such as reclaiming of agricultural land, opening agricultural roads or extending irrigation networks. Moreover, Israel continues to confiscate land, demolish homes and prevent rehabilitation of existing houses and roads of the Palestinians, but maintains plans for settlement expansion and infrastructure development for Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley.