Middle East Monitor / March 26, 2020
Israeli forces today demolished a residential building and seized tents and other equipment in the Jordan Valley village of Ibziq, north of the occupied West Bank city of Tubas, according to Wafa news agency.
The Jordan Valley, which accounts for almost a third of the occupied West Bank, is home to 65,000 Palestinians in 28 villages.
Since 1967, when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley. Some of the settlements in which they live were built almost entirely on private Palestinian land.
In addition to damaging farms and homes, Abdul Majeed Khdeirat, head of Ibziq village council, said Israeli forces raided the village and destroyed a 70-square-metre shack and two water and electricity pumps.
He added that the forces also seized eight tents that were not yet set up, solar panels, spraying equipment, and building blocks for use by the village’s mosque, clinic and council, under the pretext that the construction was taking place in a military zone.
Yesterday, Israeli military authorities ordered residents of the Jordan Valley to stop installing solar panels in their village.
Mutaz Bisharat, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the Jordan Valley/Tubas district, said soldiers raided Khirbet Al-Dir in the northern Jordan Valley and handed residents an order to stop work on installing solar panels donated by the Italian humanitarian aid and development group GVC Italia.
He added that the soldiers banned a resident from installing a caravan for farming purposes on his land in the same village.
Last week, the Palestinian Authority warned that Israel may use the state of emergency brought on by COVID-19 to carry out its “colonial” plans in the occupied West Bank based on what was announced in the US ‘deal of the century.’