Middle East Monitor / April 12, 2023
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food has published two papers in which it is said that food has been weaponised by Israel in order to force Palestinians to abandon their legitimate rights. The papers were prepared by the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (APN) and detail the nature, degree and impact of Israeli violence on Jordanian and Palestinian food systems.
In the paper on the situation, as it affects the Palestinians, the various tactics adopted by the Israeli occupation to use food as a weapon are described. The intention is to make the Palestinians dependent on Israel for food as well as force them to give up their rights. These tactics include “systematically uprooting trees, preventing Palestinians from accessing their lands, and then illegally confiscating fallow lands, in addition to routinely poisoning Palestinian water and soil.”
With regard to the situation in Jordan, the APN paper revealed an Israeli plan to damage the agricultural sector in the country by setting fire to land in the Jordan Valley, which represents the cornerstone of national food sovereignty.
The plan also includes the expansion of Israel’s “hydro-hegemony over Jordan’s water resources through different strategies such as over-pumping and diverting excess water for development projects as well as polluting the southern part of the river with agricultural waste.” These violations, said the APN, “had a detrimental impact on Jordan’s water resources, which is the second water-scarce country in the world in terms of annual water intake per capita.”
The papers demand stricter accountability measures to “hold Israel responsible for its systematic attacks on the Palestinian and Jordanian food systems, and to force Israel to compensate affected farmers for the damages and losses caused by these attacks.”