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No Relief for Palestine in New Year

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Another 14,000 East Jerusalemites were affected. Without notice or judicial review, Palestinian land was stolen. Thousands lost their residency status. Homeland rights were lost.

On January 1, Maan News headlined "A precarious existence in the Jordan Valley." It's home to some of Palestine's most fertile land. Most Palestinians there are impoverished. Basic infrastructure is lacking.

The entire Valley reflects "a patchwork of zones in which Palestinians are allowed to live." They have little room for maneuver.

According to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs head Ramesh Rajasingham:

"These restrictions have removed their ability to be self-sustaining. They are in an artificial humanitarian crisis. They have the capacity, the training, the education, but because of man-made restrictions, they are made vulnerable."

Their legitimate rights are denied. Israel stole their land. It's "marked as closed military zones and nature reserves. An additional 50 percent is controlled by settlers."

Practically nothing remains for them. Other restrictions reinforce their exclusion. Oslo designated 90% of Valley land Area C. Israel maintains full civil and military control.

Palestinians are largely shut out of land rightfully theirs. They're denied sufficient clean water and other essential services. Settler needs are prioritized.

Multiple Israeli military bases occupy Valley land. They terrorize Palestinian residents. They're called "intruders" on their own property. They're dispossessed of what's rightfully theirs. One resident said:

"The army came and said 'if you don't leave we will demolish your houses. You must to to Tayasir.' (It's) far from here." Palestinians have no choice. Leave or be forced out.

Eviction orders are served regularly. A "general environment of fear and uncertainty, particularly among children" affects everyone.

Palestinians living in or near military firing zones are most affected. They have "little access to services such as health care and education, and no basic utilities like electricity and sanitation."

Building on their own land is prohibited. Doing so assures demolitions and fines. Settlers get financial help on stolen Palestinian land. They're encouraged to take full advantage.

Israel wants Jordan Valley Palestinians out. It wants total area control. Resident rights are spurned. Growing numbers are impoverished. They hang on best they can. They struggle to retain what's rightfully theirs.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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In all fairness, it should be mentioned that all r... by Meqdad Taheri on Wednesday, Jan 2, 2013 at 8:23:34 AM