Saturday Jan 19, 201304:30 PM
Israeli army checkpoint (file photo)
The Israeli army has blocked a convoy from delivering humanitarian aid to the residents of the Jordan Valley in the northern West Bank.
The 300-member convoy was carrying winter outfits, mattresses, food and toys to the storm hit region on Saturday. About 30 families in the Jordan valley have lost their makeshift shelters recently due to the stormy weather.
Israel gave no clear justification for the move, which the Palestinian Authority’s spokesperson Nour Oudeh described as “very dangerous measures.”
Nedaa Yousif, one of the convoy’s members, has organized a sit-in at an Israeli army checkpoint on the way to Jordan valley to protest the move.
Jordan Valley covers around 28.5 percent of the West Bank and is rich in land and water resources.
Thousands of Palestinians in the valley live in dire situation as they are unable to cultivate their land, drill wells, build permanent structures including health centers and schools, do not have access to water or electricity and are under constant threat of being evicted from their land.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, out of the 60,000 Palestinians who live in the Jordan Valley, “some 3,400 people reside partially or fully in closed military zones and face a high risk of forced eviction.”
The Palestinian residents in the area often face compulsory evacuation or destruction of their houses.