'Shortly after Netanyahu announced his plan to annex the Jordan Valley, the Israeli authorities arrived at hilltop olive groves owned by Palestinians there, and destroyed them, days before the planned harvest.
Two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, on Tuesday last week, his intention to annex the Jordan Valley after the election, forces of the Civil Administration carried out yet another brutal operation of destruction. The target this time was particularly remote: a rocky hillside adjacent to the village of Tamoun in the northern valley. The goal was singularly vicious: the uprooting of hundreds of olive trees that were about to yield their first fruit, and demolition of the cisterns holding the water that was used to irrigate them.
Four days later, on Monday, the groves’ owners stood next to their felled trees and their ruined cisterns, sadly rolling bits of olives from the felled trees between their fingers. The first crop of these seven-year-old trees was set to be harvested in another few days, but the Civil Administration’s terminators got here just before – as if to rub salt in the wound. The butchered trees are withering on the ground; their fruit is dying on the slashed branches. The Civil Administration also uprooted in full some large olive trees, about 50 years old, from this privately owned grove and buried them under the rubble of the reservoirs they had devastated, lest the farmers try to replant them, here or elsewhere.
Also on Monday, ministers of the symbolic Palestinian government left Ramallah and cruised east in their official vehicles, to hold a symbolic cabinet meeting in the village of Fasayil. They were protesting the meeting held a day earlier by Israeli ministers at the outpost of Mevo’ot Yericho, which they agreed to legalize on the spot. Few people took an interest in the Palestinian cabinet meeting.'
Read more: Down in the Jordan Valley, the Cruel Wheels of the Israeli Occupation Keep on Turning
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11 October 2019
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