Middle East Monitor / March 16, 2020
While Palestinians are busy fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus, Israeli occupation settlers have increased their attacks in the occupied Jordan Valley, Al Mugtama Magazine reported yesterday.
The armed settlers carried out a wide-scale campaign of attacks on the Palestinian herders and farmers. They stole scores of animals and damaged wide swathes of farmlands.
“The situation in the Jordan Valley is very difficult,” Mahmoud Bsharat, who has received an expropriation order for his farm, told the magazine.
He said that the “gangs of settlers” cut trees and steal cattle, as well as opening fire at the Palestinian shepherds. They also steal tractors from Palestinian farmers and damage their farms.
Activist Aref Daraghmeh told the magazine that Jewish settlers carried out 45 attacks over the past few days in the Jordan Valley, noting that they stole farming equipment in addition to damaging farms and homes.
He also said that the occupation imposed high fines on Palestinians and has been carrying out military drills that damage their crops.
This, Daraghmeh explained, was part of the settlers’ efforts to force Palestinians out of the area in preparation for its annexation by Israel.
The Palestinian Authority warned that Israel may use the state of emergency brought on by the 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’.