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Dressing up greed

Oct 23,2017 - Last updated at Oct 23,2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have an insatiable appetite for Palestinian lands; now the Jordan Valley is in his sights, and he vowed that it “will always remain a part of Israel”. 

Speaking on October 19 at a ceremony marking 50 years since Israel settled the area, the Israeli prime minister said of the Jordan Valley: “We will continue to settle it, invest in infrastructure and tourism.”

Not even an attempt at disguising the occupation!

The “justification”?

“The valley is a strategic defensive belt for the country, and without it the fundamentalist flood could reach the interior…. Thus, our eastern defensive line starts at this place. If we won’t be here, Tehran and Hamastan will be here. We won’t let that happen.”

Israel could invoke Martians to cling to occupied territories, but it is not the “defensive line” that holds water, but the yield of this fertile strip of land that feeds countries and generates profits.

Jordan has a proven record of defending all its borders, including the ones with its eastern neighbours, so Israel should come up with more credible excuses than Iran or Hamas.

Even more troubling in Israel’s exposed design to control the Jordan Valley is that it might not stop at the River Jordan.

Israel has always coveted the Jordanian side of the Jordan Valley, which it once tried to invade and occupy.

The Karameh battle, of March 21, 1968, in which Israeli army crossed the river and tried, in vain, to occupy the Jordan side of the Ghor region, including the Jordanian town of Karameh, is still fresh in the minds of Jordanians.

Now Israel dares speak of the Jordan Valley region as if it were its own backyard where it can do anything it wants.

“On both sides of the Jordan [River], I see green. We’re settling and planting; they’re building and planting. This is precisely the place where we can expand regional cooperation.”

Cooperation, yes. But Netanyahu surely knows that occupation is in violation of international law and of the peace treaty Israel signed with Jordan.

 

The Israeli leader, true to character, makes no bones about expressing his country’s colonialism, but international law is clear: the Jordan Valley is occupied Palestinian territory and Israel has no business making plans for it, neither for defence nor for more peaceful purposes.

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